Three Trapdoors of Volunteer Dropout

You just had another volunteer quit your team. Ouch. That hurts every time.

Your frustration with your team is mounting. Who will leave next? And what will be the excuse next time?

Before you go blaming their lack of commitment, first, take a step back and evaluate if you’re experiencing any of these three common leadership pitfalls that can lead to volunteer dropout:

Lack of preparation.
You’ve developed the habit of doing things at the last minute or are totally winging it.

Lack of preparation leads to poor performance. Poor performance leads to finger pointing. Finger pointing leads to excuses. Excuses lead to low morale. And low moral leads to a higher dropout rate of volunteers.

Lack of communication.
You’ve developed the habit of assuming people know what’s going on. As a result, people are feeling left out, frustrated and confused.

Lack of communication leads to confusion. Confusion leads to mistakes. Mistakes lead to lower confidence. Lower confidence leads to a higher dropout rate of volunteers.

Lack of systems.
Your team does the same work every week, but you don’t have a written system for how you do it. As a result, things are done at varying levels of excellence (or non-excellence) every time.

Lack of systems leads to inconsistent behaviors. Inconsistent behaviors lead to mediocrity. Mediocrity leads to lower levels of enthusiasm. Lower levels of enthusiasm lead to a higher dropout rate of volunteers.

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort it takes to break the bad habits that lead to these common leadership pitfalls, not only are you likely to see a lower dropout rate of volunteers, you may just find yourself having more volunteers than you know what to do with.

Dig Deeper:
Video: 5 Keys to Promoting Leaders Successfully
Video: 4 Things Robbing Your Time 

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Mac Lake

Mac Lake

Mac is a pioneering influence in the church planting movement. In 1997, he planted Carolina Forest Community Church (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina). In 2004, he began serving as Leadership Development Pastor at Seacoast Church (Charleston, South Carolina) where he served for over six years. In July 2010, Mac Lake joined with West Ridge Church to become the Visionary Architect for the LAUNCH Network. In 2015 Mac begin working with Will Mancini and Auxano to develop the Leadership Pipeline process. He joined Auxano full time in 2018. Mac and his wife, Cindy, live in Charleston, South Carolina and have three children, Brandon, Jordan and Brianna.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
— Dave
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
— Argaw Alemu
comment_post_ID); ?> Amen!!
— Scott Michael Whitley

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