I recall being a volunteer at a church and asking the staff member in charge of Guest Services, "How do I get involved in Guest Services? What does the onboarding process and the subsequent leadership pathway look like?" The staff person said, "Um, I have no idea."
I define a Volunteer Leadership Pathway as an understandable series of practical next steps available to both potential and current team members involved in ________ (insert your ministry).
I currently lead 900 volunteer team members, and for most of them they work in the corporate world. Many of their companies have a leadership pathway - an identified progression of position and influence. However, I often find the church doesn't have anything "formal" in place that resonates with leaders.
As we lead our volunteer team members, it is critical to provide a clear pathway for five reasons:
- Clarity allows team members to locate where they are on the journey. This includes where they have been and where they can go.
- Clarity helps team members invite new potential team members when they know the journey and how to communicate that to others.
- Clarity provides accountability to reinforce what we have communicated.
- Clarity takes the guess work and inconsistency out of the equation.
- Clarity allows you to have a checkpoint with a volunteer team member instead of a conversation that can feel subjective.
Here is a Volunteer Leadership Pathway that I recently created: