How shall we keep the priesthood of all believers working abundantly and joyfully? How shall we empower the ministry of the baptized without burning out good people? Dan Pezet proposes expiration dates for volunteers.
Volunteer Expiration Dates
By Dan Pezet from Leading Ideas: A Resource for Church Leaders
Expiration dates are on all sorts of things and for good reasons. We can find them on loaves of bread, gallons of milk, and egg cartons. Expiration dates are on our driver's licenses, professional certifications, and even the President of the United States. These dates make sure things stay fresh, maximize effectiveness, and give us an opportunity to evaluate the need for change. And these are great reasons to put expiration dates on volunteer positions in the church.
Sometimes we put someone in a position and leave them there until they are used up. When volunteers are excited about doing good work for God, they begin like a freshly struck match. Their flame and energy are intense. Too often, though, we leave them burning in one spot for so long that their flame can sputter and die. Expiration dates can protect us from burning out volunteers.
Rotating fresh people into positions can achieve maximum effectiveness. Baseball coaches know how many pitches their pitchers can throw before they start getting tired. They have a whole crew of pitchers that they rotate in to keep them fresh and effective. Rotating volunteers in the church setting is just as important. It keeps the ideas fresh and the energy level high.
(2 questions to ponder: 1) where would we put these expiration dates, and 2) What about expiration dates for clergy?)