How to Be a Great Volunteer Part 2: Be On Time

tristan-colangelo-39719In part one of this blog series, I discussed the importance communication has in one’s ability to be a great volunteer. In addition to having solid communication skills, if you want to be a great volunteer you need to show up on time.

Now I know what you’re going to say–sometimes things just happen: you get a flat tire, your kids won’t cooperate, you get pulled over for speeding because you were actually trying to make it on time for once. I’m not talking about just isolated instances like these that creep up from time to time. What I’m talking about is when instances like the ones above become a regular and consistent pattern–that’s where the issues arise.

Whether you realize it or not, when you regularly and consistently show up late you communicate three distinct things:

1. You don’t respect your leader. Your leader has set a specific call time on purpose. This particular time has been established so that you will be ready and able to serve once your service/event/etc… begins. And if you find yourself in a position where you simply cannot meet the time constraints, schedule a meeting with your leader to talk about it and see if you can come to a point of resolution. If not, then ask your leader to help you find a different place to serve in which the times will better fit your schedule.

2. You don’t respect those you serve alongside. When you consistently show up late you’re basically telling those you serve alongside that you are more important than them and that your time is more valuable than theirs. Being a part of a team isn’t about you–it’s about the team. So step up and follow the rules and guidelines that have been put in place and set the example for the rest of your team to follow.

3. You don’t respect those you serve. You cannot serve someone if you aren’t present–it’s physically impossible. You can’t lead a small group from “five minutes away.” You can’t receive a baby in the nursery from “I’ll be there ASAP.” Eventually, people will catch on to the patterns you are establishing and will no longer trust you to serve them. And if their needs aren’t being met in one place, they’ll find another place in which they are being met and go there. So be intentional about showing up on time so that you can be ready to serve and meet the needs of those with whom the Lord has entrusted you.

In part 3 of this series we’ll look at a concept that goes hand-in-hand with showing up on time: Staying Until It’s Over.

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