Ministry team members need to know how they are doing. When you provide coaching for volunteers on a regular basis, they are assured that they are doing the right things to advance the program and further the work of Christ.
Purpose: You should communicate with volunteers the effectiveness of their work and help determine if the ministry is a good match for them.
Step 1: Determine How/Where Coaching will Take Place
You need to determine a coaching method that will breed comfortable and open communication. This method should be agreed upon. Some sample forms of coaching include
- scheduling regular one-on-one or team feedback meetings.
- meeting in a casual place such as a coffee shop or the ministry location.
- contacting volunteers via email or phone.
Step 2: Establish Coaching Expectations
You should let the volunteers know how you will be critiquing their contributions to the ministry. Communicate that the sole purpose of your feedback is to determine if the ministry match is successful. Make sure each volunteer is comfortable with the idea of feedback and the style chosen.
Step 3: Providing the Feedback
Coaching meetings should begin with the needs and concerns of the volunteer. You should ask open-ended questions to glean as much information as possible. A few sample questions might include
- “What have you enjoyed most about serving in this ministry?”
- “What has been the most difficult aspect of serving?”
This will help you determine the most pertinent needs of the volunteer and provide insight for solving areas of concern. After the volunteer has had time to share joys or concerns, you can share positive feedback and any necessary criticism. Several guidelines will help make your critique more effective:
- Be sincere, grateful, and honest.
- Try to focus on specific actions or contributions that the volunteer can do something about; critique their observable work or their match with the ministry, not their personality.
- Make sure that each volunteer understands what you’ve communicated by asking follow-up questions; be sure to ask for their concerns regarding your comments.
The following are general critiquing principles:
- Coaching should be in balance with Recognizing and Affirming; one without the other might result in frustration and hurt feelings.
- Release, with gratitude and love, any volunteer who wishes to end their service early.