By John Albiston
Everyone wants a heroic team of volunteers that can take any hill, endure any hardship, and face any threat. What separates the victors from the vanquished? Heart.
The truth is that anyone who volunteers will have many motivations to do so. Some motives will be wholesome – some will be harmful. Previously we looked at 5 motives that undermine and poison the volunteer relationship. Today we will look at 3 powerful motives that turn mice into mountain lions.
- The Love of God
The most potent motivation known to man is the love of God. Martyrs have stood resolute in the face of the worst tyrants in history showing courage that surpassed any terror man has devised. Why? Because of the strength found in the love of God.
When we truly realize all who God is, all that he has done, and all that he will do, we come to understand that to serve him is the greatest achievement we can ever accomplish. When our hearts are filled with gratitude, we not only become tireless servants, but joyful ones as well.
- The Love of Others
As we grow closer to God we begin to see things through his eyes. Nothing is a better example of this than the love of people. When we come to understand how precious the stranger at the door is to God. How much he desperately loves him. And remember just how much he has sacrificed for him. We can’t help but to feel the same way.
Compared to the greeter at the door who serves out of guilt or obligation, the greeter who truly views everyone as being precious to our Savior will warmly greet everyone who comes his way with both greater endurance and effect.
- The Love of Calling
We were created on purpose – for a purpose. We are called to live lives of consequence. And we are charged to make a lasting difference in this world. When we truly embrace our calling we become unstoppable. As legendary Olympian Eric Liddell said, “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”
When volunteering goes from being a job to being a mission, our volunteers excel. Lesser motivations will eventually lead to burn out, but these three create an unmatched perseverance in those we serve.
Knowing is nice, but passing this on to your team is nicer. Most of your volunteers have never consciously examined their motives for volunteering and expecting them to magically “just know” which motives to cultivate isn’t very reasonable.
It’s absolutely crucial that we meet with our volunteers regularly to encourage and inspire them. It doesn’t require a lecture either. I give my team a 100 second challenge just before “game time” every week to keep things focused and fresh. The difference between inspired volunteers and expired volunteers is just a minute of your time.
See Part 1 – 5 Poisonous Motivations to Volunteer