Ask The Source

Should I PUSH my flakey staff?


First of all I just want to say thank you so much for giving your ideas for free and for all the information you've got on your site. Thank You so Much!

I do hope you can help me on how do deal with this. I just have one youth leader. But she is so busy that sometimes forgot her responsibility or assignment. And I think she has a problem with her priorities. I already talked to her many times about it and she always said “okay,” but never changes.

My question is….Is it OK for me to PUSH or how will I deal with her? Or is there any motivation that I need to do with this kind of character?

Any help you will share will be much appreciated. Thank you and God Bless you!

Esherii, Philippines



Thanks for the email.

You're not alone. Many of us have dealt with “flakey” volunteers or staff. Staff that just don't follow through with what they started. And it's even more difficult when they are volunteers- because they aren't getting paid for their time.

You asked if it is okay to “push” them. I wouldn't use the word “push” because that conveys being “pushy” or bothersome. But don't be afraid to hold them accountable to what they committed to do.

Sometimes the reason they aren't doing something is a lack of confidence or know-how. Maybe they need someone to “hold their hand” a few times before they do it on their own.

In addition to “hand holding,” they might need consistent communication. Not checking up on them, but weekly phone calls of encouragement, letting them know how much you appreciate their help. You can mention specific tasks they did that you appreciate. That affirmation might encourage them to do more of those activities.

Go to my “I Need To Know How To…” page and look at my recent article on “HOW DO I KEEP VOLUNTEERS?” You'll find more good information on this subject. Also- check out the website I recommended in those articles: That is an excellent website dealing with many of these issues as well.

Hope that helps.

God Bless,
Jonathan McKee
The Source for Youth Ministry


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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