How to Prevent Volunteer Burnout

Burned Matches

Courtesy of hermanturnip

When volunteering, it is hard not to become jaded by a situation. By jaded, I mean cynical and discouraged by the volunteering experience. I have been at volunteering events where everyone walks around with a scowl on their face. It does not have to be that way, though. I have been in rough situations, and seen people still love what they do, and not be jaded at all. They are all in a difficult situation, but they still work hard for the Lord. There are many reasons for this, but I think one prime reason is The Debrief.

The Debrief

The Debrief is where the volunteers get together after the event is over and talk about it. It is as simple as that. However, because of different situations, there is no time to get together. I think this is important because sharing burdens is important to keep motivated. Here are the reasons the debrief is important.

  1. Sense of Community
    When you feel like you are alone, it makes it hard to work. If you feel like you are doing something with friends, it makes it way easier.
  2. Share in Burdens
    Many times you feel like you are the only one who is struggling, it is comforting to know others have the same problems. If something goes bad, it is great to know that the same thing has happened to several others.
  3. Shared Optimism
    Along with sharing the bad, it is also uplifting to share in the good times. It reminds people why it is worthwhile.
  4. Share Struggles
    People can share their struggles together. Not only is it good to tell people they are not alone, it is good so people can be can be encouraged about their struggles. It is good to know what a person is struggling ahead of time, so you know how to help before they quit.
  5. Share Knowledge 
    Very rarely does someone come across a situation that has not happened before. People can share what tactics they used when they are confronted with similar situations. This makes all the volunteers more efficient workers.

Even though organizing a debrief after a hectic event can be hard, I think the effort is more than worthwhile.

[bible passage=”Hebrews 10:24-25″ version=”esv”]

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