Factors affecting volunteerism in church related activities

Date

1985

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Abstract

Purpose. The purpose of this study was to determine why people volunteer to serve in church organizations; if they are motivated as volunteers by "inner, " "other, " or "situational" concerns; how satisfied they are with being volunteers; why some in their present congregation who formerly had been volunteers ceased to serve; why some in their present congregations had never served; and if there is a statistically significant difference between these motivations based on four independent variables: church (Baptist, Church of Christ, Lutheran, Methodist), gender, age (20-34 and 35 and older), and marital status. Adult members of the Baptist, Church of Christ, Lutheran, and Methodist churches returned 265 usuable questionnaires regarding volunteerism in church related activites. The data suggested some significant findings. The desire to put one's faith to work is the primary reason for volunteering. Volunteers are motivated more by "inner" concerns than by "situational" or "other" concerns. Volunteers derive satisfaction from their service. The lack of impact from their service, and the failure of the church staff and other leaders to communicate sufficiently with them are the principal reasons for volunteers ceasing to serve. The primary reason for people not volunteering to serve in the church is their not having been asked. This is followed closely by, "It would entail a long term assignment." There is a remarkable degree of homogenity between the independent variables. Recommendations. (1) Further research be conducted as to the areas of needs volunteers wish to address. (2) Further research address the areas in which volunteers desire to grow. (3) Additional research be conducted so as to determine the areas and degrees of controversy that are disturbing to volunteers. (4) Communication between staff and volunteers be improved. (5) Volunteers be assigned for a specific period of time. (6) All inexperienced volunteers go through a period of orientation and training before being given assignments.

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Keywords

Church work, Laity, Psychology, Voluntarism

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