5 Signs of burn-out in your volunteers

Because the small-church is, well…..small, our volunteers tend to get overextended.  So, for our helpful hint today, I present 5 Signs of Burn-out in Your Volunteers:

  1. They drop dead.  This is a sure sign of overload when your members actually expire, pass-on, cross-over, or catch the Ezekiel express.  Dying is a great way for a volunteer to simplify his life, but it severely limits your options. 
  2. They run screaming out of the _________ (choose one:  nursery, board meeting, worship service, or mission circle.)  Departing a meeting in such a manner is a sure sign that something is wrong.  Note:  Do not get between the door and the volunteer in this situation.
  3. They doze off during worship.  Do not confuse these volunteers with your regular Sunday sleepers.  These are the folks who used to fill up the bulletin page titled, Notes, with your sermon outline.  You do not want to lose these people.  They’re the ones who found your “Calvin Was a Regular Guy” sermon riveting. 
  4. They refuse to wear the “Moses” costume again.   Self-explanatory.
  5. They sit on the floor and play with their socks during the children’s sermon.  This poses a dilemma for the pastor that Solomon never faced. 

These are all serious and confirmed signs of burn-out in your volunteers.  Should you spot any of these signs, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.  Except go to churchstaffing.com and update your resume!

7 thoughts on “5 Signs of burn-out in your volunteers”

  1. Ahhh this one struck a responsive chord with me, Chuck!

    I’m smiling – Cleverly stated! I especially chuckled at number 5. 😆

    I’m going to differ with you on your conclusion though, and have some thoughts gathering in the wind for a how-to post to keep volunteer forces vibrant and healthy.

    I’ve said for years that we who manage volunteers in ministry need to be BETTER managers than those in for-profit venues, because volunteers can simply say “no-thank-you” or “not this year, thanks” —or worse yet run screaming from the room. (Sounds like you’ve been there. Hopefully not recently!)

    Great thoughts, thanks for the inspiration.

    Phil —

    —Put that resume back in the drawer! Something tells me you’re doing fine!

  2. Hey, Phil, thanks for chuckling with me. 🙂 Hey, I’d love to link to your post on volunteers. I’m working on a post that features links to those who have commented here, so I’ll be looking for that post. Actually, I would also like to talk to you about video stuff. Email me. Thanks, Chuck

  3. Chuck … HILARIOUS!!!!

    Thanks for the laugh! I especially liked #1! It seems that one thing church leaders need to work on is recognizing burn out long before it gets to death … alas … death is imminent! 😉

    Go with God,
    Donald B

  4. Hi,

    I would like to share with you a good ebook that’s free to help pastors and their wives with discouragement and burnout. You can find it at: http://www.stoppastorburnout.com . It’s quite helpful.

    If you have pastor friends or even their wives, we are currently inviting pastors and pastor wives to join charter membership club for free for 2 months,you might want to share this with them. You may visit http://www.susandavidlifecoach.com/index.php/sponsors for more information.

    We would also like to invite you to view our video on this topic at

    Feel free to share this with your friends or people you care for.


    Susan David

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