Teamwork at Church

The other week, while I was in Mass, I was looking around the Church observing all the people helping out. There was the Priest up the front leading the Mass, an acolyte, altar servers, readers, musicians, greeters and collectors to list a few…. In addition to that there are a number of other roles that keep the parish operating each and every day.

What struck me about the all the people that helped out were that most of them were volunteers. I started to think how great it was that an event (“the Mass”), can operate mostly with volunteers. As I sat there a little amazed… Not sure why, as I have known this for a while…. I was wondering what drives all these people to volunteer their time.

As I thought further about what drives people to volunteer their time, I started to realise that most of us volunteer our time to some cause or casues. I myself volunteer my time to scouting and a number of other causes. So to what purpose do we volunteer our time? I think there are numerous reasons including the activity is enjoyable, brings a sense of satisfaction, aligns with our values, provides a sense of purpose and develops a sense of community.

The other area of thoughtfulness for me watching the people helping out at Mass was their professionalism and teamwork. Everyone had their role and worked in with others for the common purpose. So how is it that people can come together as volunteers and yet some workplaces do not have the same level of cooperation? That is the question I have for you today…. Then down the track I can collate some of the answers into a teamwork blog.

  • What do you volunteer your time too?
  • Does the team come together, even though they are volunteers?
  • What is the glue that holds the team together?

About Attila Ovari

Attila Ovari is an Entrepreneur that loves life and is passionate about adventure. Attila Ovari writes, speaks and coaches to inspire others to better themselves through following their passions and chasing their dreams. He has developed his passions of inspiration, leadership and strategy into strengths through his businesses and community pursuits.

Posted on Saturday, 27 Apr 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Attila, great observations about the volunteers during Mass and cooperation at the work place.

    I’ve been leading volunteers for years through the youth ministry programs I’ve been a part of. There’s a saying out there: “Volunteers are good for nothing.” While that statement could be totally taken the wrong way, it can actually be a high compliment. (It all depends which word gets the emphasis.)

    Volunteers are great because they choose to be there. They have chosen to give of their time, talents, and resources because the cause is worth it. They intrinsically value it and will serve well without expectation of recompense. The work place, on the other hand, typically has a different mentality. Many people go to work because they have to – they depend upon the income it generates. Their reason, or motive, for being there is different. And I believe that makes that makes the biggest difference in the world.

    The bottom reason is because our want-to is always far more powerful than our have-to. We will always excel in those activities that we want to do. Whenever we’re put into a situation where our base motivation is a have-to, our output will usually be of a lesser quality.

    I believe the “glue” that holds them together is their commitment to a common cause (i.e. vision/mission communicated by the leader to the volunteers) and shared beliefs and values among all those involved.

    Ultimately, I believe leading volunteers is harder than leading paid staff. But the rewards are much richer! Good leaders will take great care of volunteers. The reason? Because they are good for nothing. ; )

    • Brian, thank you for your comments in insight. I would agree that volunteers can be harder to manage, however I agree with you that they are often more aligned with the mission and the rewards are greater.

  2. I think that the work situation is more competitive – it is your ‘bread & butter’ and it is a place where ego and power often resides. In contrast to this, voluntary work comes from a different psyche and probably taps into our basic needs – a sense of belonging; giving; problem solving and morality. The world is certainly a better place because of voluntary workers – they reach out to so many who have no voice. They pass quietly through our world, often overlooked, but they leave a big imprint!

  3. Hi Attila, volunteers are so important. I belong to three organizations where I volunteer in furthering the education of medical staff and office management personnel. It does a group of dedicated people to make things happen.

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