Thursday, May 8, 2014

Draft Day and volunteer recruitment

Note: I used voice recognition software to draft this entry. There's an excellent chance that I missed a poor translation in my editing process.

I write this while the NFL Draft plays in the background.  It's quite the spectacle--variables and matchmaking and commentary.

But the baseline of looking for someone to fill a critical position--that reminds me of churches trying to staff every committee and task force.  I wish I could say that we were less competitive than NFL teams, and less stressful. Alas.

So often congregations go into the work with such a sense of scarcity--all the good people are taken! And this committee is short four people! And we promised Bobbie Sue that she could have a break sometime this decade!

Here's the thing, though--church is not a draft. People need to have a say in these things, not meekly follow to wherever they're told to go. And optimally, we need to go reframe everything--it is not about plugging people into roles. It's about asking each person what ministry they feel called to do. Where are their gifts? What tugs at their hearts? Who would they like to work with and learn from?

And in almost every situation at a church, we do not need to keep all thirty-two franchises. If there are not enough people to staff a group, well, maybe it is time for creative reorganizaiton, or sunseting those activities. Yes, it will make some people a little grumpy, but it's likely better than the anxieties of scarcity, and the misery of being an overburdened committee of one.

Still. It sure would be awesome to have a giant whiteboard with a big grid and little tokens for each and every person... 

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