Volunteering Stinks!

Yeah… I said it. There are times that it stinks to be a volunteer! (You probably didn’t foresee that coming from a guy who wrote a book about volunteering!)

I volunteer for my daughter’s jr. high track team. Since it’s only jr. high, it’s actually through our local ‘park and rec’ (don’t ask me to explain why. This is California. It probably doesn’t make sense).

Here’s where it gets weird. Since it’s a school track team, I went and got fingerprinted, filled out paperwork at the district, got a background check, etc. No big deal… I expect that as part of volunteering (I just talked about the importance of this in my blog last week about the killer “Sunday School Teacher”). But two weeks into the volunteering… the head coach emails me this email:

I just was notified that park and rec needs you to fill out their paperwork and get fingerprinted for them too. Please take care of this.


Do you wonder why we have trouble getting volunteers? (Maybe that’s why I’m the only parent out there!)

The volunteer recruiting principal violated here is what I called the “Oh, by the way” jab, in chapter 2 of my book, THE NEW BREED. We shouldn’t bring on volunteers, only to spring all kinds of, “Oh, by the way, I need you to…” obligations on them later.

“2 separate fingerprintings!” Hilarious!

So today I filled out my 8th form, got fingerprinted a second time… and I’m off to track practice!

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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One Response to Volunteering Stinks!

  1. Hope Griffin says:

    I really enjoyed and learned a lot reading your book The New Breed. Thank you!

    I work at a small church as the Ministry Director and one of my main jobs is Volunteer Recruitment. Our Church is very transient, always changing, as the majority is military. I struggle with maintaining and replacing volunteers. The last thing I want to do is add an “oh by the way” but sometimes it is inevitable as new things come up. What is your advice on the best way (but only when absolutely necessary) to say “oh by the way”?