Is it just me, or did your summer just fly by too?
It dawned on me while running in to grab stuff for smores two nights ago. Everything summer-related in the front of the store was now gone. Back to School had taken over every aisle as far as my eye could see.
Not a smore in sight.
Now, before you start dragging out the scarecrows, may I make a suggestion? Pull your volunteers together soon and close up the summer together.
Yes, I know that many of these summer people are your Fall people as well, but this still really matters.
It's important that you unpack what God did through your summer programs and highlight the role they played in all of it.
Why? Because Not Normal Volunteers can’t always see it.
As incredibly quirky as they are, they underestimate their role when it comes to matters of faith.
Your job is to show them what they did was significant in the lives of kids and families they served so well. Show them what they can’t see themselves.
Plan a get together…….
Meet at an ice cream place
Circle up over pizzas
Grab breakfast after church
Gather at a favorite coffee place
Invite them to a cookout…… and just hang out together.
Oh yeah, keep this simple – this is not a programmed event.
This is a conversation.
Ask some open-ended questions like these……
What was the funniest thing you saw?
Who has a funny behind the scenes story?
Who did something that you want to brag on?
What things were kid favorites?
What did you hear from parents?
Did anyone meet a new family or new kid?
What was your own personal favorite highlight?
What prayers did God answer this summer?
What did you learn personally?
As the leader, be prepared with stories yourself.
Ask a couple of parents to write notes to these volunteers. Ask your pastor to Facetime with you and tell your volunteers thank you.
Get a note from some of your older kids.
Talk to a new family that tried your church for the very first time, and wants to come back because of your volunteers.
Help them SEE it.
Then pray together before all of you leave.
Not only will this help underscore the importance of the mission you are all on together, but memories and fun get built in along the way. Which is good, because the next time you see them, you’ll probably be vision casting the Fall and telling them how amazing its going to be with their help.
Remember, just because "You can't always see it" doesn't mean it's not happening.
Sue Miller is the co-author of the new Leading Not Normal Volunteers alongside Adam Duckworth which can be ordered at OrangeStore.org!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!