Job descriptions. Ugh. That’s how I really feel about them. They just seem like a waste of good trees and ink. And they’re tedious. Have you ever tried to write your own? I was helping develop my own job description (along with descriptions for a few other staff members) and it felt like all the books in all the world could not contain all the crap that had to go in those documents.
So why bother?
It boils down simply to this – expectations. Clearly defined expectations are a win-win. Those doing the expecting win, because they know what they’re asking of you. You win because you know what you need to do. Clearly defined parameters. Easily evaluated performance. Everyone goes home happy. (Yes, I know it doesn’t always work that way for staff people – but that’s another blog post for another day.)
So if clearly defined expectation equals a win-win relationship, why don’t we do this for volunteers within our ministry?
It’s a lot of work. #truth But it’s work that yields long-term results. It’s much more productive than, say, driving all over the city trying to find shaving cream that doesn’t contain menthol.
Volunteers might balk. #truth But in all honesty, every single person I have ever enlisted utilizing a job description has thanked me for it. People want to know what they’re getting into – and springing on them that they have to sponsor the lock-in and attend monthly volunteer meetings usually gets about the same response as using mentholated shaving cream in your next prank.
I have to be organized. #truth When people have a written copy of what you are asking them to do, it’s more difficult to ‘wing it – swing by the seat of your pants – pull it out of your butt at the last minute’…like the time you forgot the shaving cream and had to you mentholated at the last moment.
What’s the big deal about mentholated shaving cream? It stings the eyes. It burns the skin. It takes the paint of a car…come to think of it, it causes some of the same results we get when we don’t use job descriptions for our volunteers.
To learn more about enlisting volunteers and keeping them happy, look for my next book – coming out in August – Everyone’s Called to Youth Ministry…They Just Don’t Know It Yet.