I’ve been involved in ministry work for over a decade. It’s funny some of the constants that have presented themselves no matter the time or location. One being how some ministry workers are absolutely fearful of confronting a volunteer. This could be for a variety of reasons, but what this leads to (it seems) is the particular volunteer getting a sense of entitlement. The volunteer then feels the freedom to comment on any and everything within the church/ministry. When other ministry coworkers ask the ministry worker who is over the volunteer why they don’t check the individual they list off a number of excuses defending the individual’s poor behavior. Stress of the tasks, home life, they’re just venting, they’re not responsible for them, etc. I think a big reason the person isn’t checked is because the ministry worker is afraid to lose the work the volunteer does. The volunteer does provide a service to the ministry, which all appreciate, but the attitude that comes with it is not appreciated. As well, I don’t appreciate the ministry worker who lets the volunteer just waltz all over them in a disrespectful fashion. In the past there was a coworker I talked to a few times about a volunteer they were over. Regardless of what this volunteer did they experienced no ramifications for their negative actions. The coworker seemed resigned to it. If they want to put up with that nonsense I guess that is their call. Within Communications, though, that wouldn’t fly at all. Nick or I would be quick to call the individual out.
Sometimes the comments are said out of ignorance. For instance, a lot of people in the church really don’t grasp all that the Communications Team does. It’s why we get congregants asking what it is we fill our work hours doing once we do our jobs. Like designing and maintaining a website the size of ours is nothing, like directing, filming and editing film is nothing, like creating and producing the ideas and concepts for our sermon series is nothing, like designing the publications is nothing…get the point? They’ll say, “Well, we use to have someone that did all that!” Yeah, if you want publications which were white pieces of paper with just lines of Times New Roman text stapled together in the upper left corner, go for it. This is one of the reasons why I suggested to Nick that Communications have an open house sometime after church. All the team would be there and then whoever could come by and find out more about the team. Educate people on all that goes into our efforts. I can understand someone asking what we do, considering they are paying our salary, but don’t ask in a rhetorical sense as to complain or yearn for the good ol’ days. If you want to find out, then find out.