Creating A Volunteer Leadership Pathway

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:

  1. Clarity allows team members to locate where they are on the journey. This includes where they have been and where they can go.
  2. Clarity helps team members invite new potential team members when they know the journey and how to communicate that to others.
  3. Clarity provides accountability to reinforce what we have communicated.
  4. Clarity takes the guess work and inconsistency out of the equation. 
  5. 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: