Tony Morgan (http://tonymorganlive.com/) and Tim Stevens (http://www.leadingsmart.com/) authored a book for Group a few years back that has been very popular with leaders of volunteers. In Simply Strategic Volunteers they present 99 simple solutions that can radically improve your volunteer experience—for both you and your volunteers.
As I was browsing through the book again (I get a new nugget every time I read it!) I came across the chapter “Give Volunteers Titles.” This so resonates with me as my job title here at Group was recently updated. And I know for me personally, it feels good to be able to easily describe to someone else what I do and the role I play within the organization. Having an unclear title, job description, or even worse, expectations, undermines our bigger goal of empowering people to serve in their gifts. Helping them identify their contribution will make them feel more confident in their position, and committed to your ministry! And who doesn’t want that??’
Here are the four main points from the chapter…
Use titles to communicate how much you value the ministry contribution of the lay person and the significance of his or her role. Use titles to say, “You are an important part of our team, and we’re counting on you to fulfill your mission.”
Use titles to lend credibility to the lay person who is carrying out a particular ministry role. The title should tell those who are bring served by the ministry that the church recognizes that persons’ spiritual maturity and commitment to leading and caring for others. The paid staff doesn’t have to do it all; lay people are prepared to handle the ministry responsibility.
Get creative with titles. Go to Fast Company’s web site and check out the “Job Titles of the Future.” You’ll find some creative ways that companies have communicated the unique roles of people in the marketplace. These innovative ideas may inspire you to consider new titles for your volunteers.
Be careful not to offer a role and title too quickly. Select proven leaders for new leadership roles. It’s much easier to give someone a new title than it is to take one away.
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