Working with volunteers can be a very frustrating experience as well as a very rewarding experience it. The frustrating parts are when there just aren’t enough, when they don’t pull through like you hoped that they would or when they just don’t care as much as you do. On the other side, it’s rewarding when they do care as much (or more) than you do and when you have a literally army of people doing great work because of a common vision. What is really rewarding is when put to the test, they do what they’ve been trained to do even when it would be easier not to or even easier to create an exemption to the rule.
Yesterday was one of those moments. Cathy Harwick, one of the Children’s Pastors here at Gateway is a stickler for safety and I know she trains and communicates our policies thoroughly to our volunteers. Near the end of the day, on of the teaching pastors came up to me to tell me about an experience he had that morning. He teaches fromt he stage 1-2 times a month, so everyone who attends our church knows who he is. He came to tell me than when going to pick up his son in one of our elementary environments, he had lost his parent pick-up tag. He didn’t realize that he’d lost the tag until he got to the door. The volunteer at the door kindly asked him to go to the check-in area where a staff member/ministry leader could confirm his ID and issue him a new pick-up tag. As he told me this, he had a smile on his face. It wasn’t a major inconvenience, but many people in his situation could have gotten frustrated. He was grateful because this volunteer illustrated the level of safety and security we value. I’ll probably share this story at a future training meeting when I’m going over that value (safety and security). It would have been so easy for that volunteer to say, “I know who you are and I know who your son is, no worries, you’re fine.” I’m proud of what Cathy’s done with her team and I’m proud of that volunteer. I have confidence that they get it.
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