Honor your father…(as long as he doesn’t ___ or ___ or ____)
Scripture: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.(Ephesians 6:1)
When Father’s Day rolls around, most of us scramble to find the perfect card. The little ones gather up macaroni to make ties or coffee mugs, and many dads are treated to breakfast in bed or a day out with their family.
But what about the “rolling stone” daddies? Who buys their cards?
Surely not the children they left behind or the mamas they abandoned. I assume they probably spend the day in quiet reflection (or maybe not) but however they spend it is a day that could have been spent making it all right again.
As kids we are so quick to forgive. Someone takes our favorite toy at recess and we may cry about it, but the next day we’re on the see-saw with the same thieving kid. But as we grow our forgiveness “muscle” becomes less flexible. Our bounceback period becomes longer and longer because our feelings are hurt. And in the case of being abandoned by fathers, some of us NEVER recover. In my opinion women have the hardest time with this.
But what if our God showed us the same unforgiving heart? What if after we sinned he turned his back on us? That wouldn’t be cool, right? So why do we think we’re better than our God?
We’ve decided to modify the ten commandments, putting our own “remix” on it by adding to “Honor your father”- “as long as he doesn’t abandon you. Or drink. Or smoke. Or swear. Or have a mistress.” We can’t do that! I’m sure when Moses wrote the commandments, he was not looking for a co-writer. :)
So on this Father’s Day, if your father is living, call him. Bright and early. Tell him you love him. Tell him you forgive him (if you have had a recent argument.) But most of all, celebrate the fact that your earthly father is still around for you to talk to. A lot of people can’t say that.
As a volunteer manager for the past 20 years, there is one thing I know for sure: there is a cycle to volunteer management. And that cycle costs nonprofit and faith-based organizations thousands of hard-earned dollars every single year.
The volunteer recruitment cycle usually looks like this:
1. Recruitment (money is spent on placing ads, creating and posting flyers and staff time)
2. Training (money is spent on training, supplies, food, t-shirt, etc.)
3. Orientation (money is spent on staff time, supplies)
4. Volunteer serves well in their position
5. Volunteer begins to get tired of doing the "same old, same old," or feels burnt out
6. Volunteer quits or just "disappears", leaving a gap that is often filled by a paid staff person
7. Cycle starts all over again at recruitment
But what if there was a way to retain your valuable volunteers, which ultimately saves your organization money?
According to Give Them Something to Smile About, organizations spend up to five times more to develop a new volunteer than to cultivate greater exchanges with existing ones. Nonprofits lose money each time a volunteer decides to depart from a position. In my recent survey of volunteers that left their positions, 72.73% said they were not contacted by the organization to ask why they left their position.
What can a volunteer manager do when a volunteer quits?
1. Reach out to the volunteer and see if you can meet them for coffee (your treat!)
2. If they agree, spend some time during their meeting thanking them for their service! Then ask why they decided to stop volunteering.
3. Come prepared with other volunteer opportunities that may appeal to the volunteer. Maybe they served for the past 3 years as a volunteer on your event committee, but now they would rather serve as a volunteer ambassador who will recruit new volunteers? You never know until you ask!
4. Ask them how you can improve as a volunteer manager. Do they feel supported? Are they placed in the right position? What can you do better?
There will be times where the volunteer simply does not want to volunteer for your organization any longer- and that's okay! But you will be able to re-engage many of the volunteers who have left their positions for various reasons.
Mama. Wife. Poet. Teacher. Maniac.