When the end goal of the volunteer is volunteerism, than serving is a "probably should" but not a "have to." Culturally speaking we've arrived at a place where volunteering is rare and often laden with the volunteer's prerequisites and expectations.
The biggest war on volunteerism right now is the desire for immediate results. We want our volunteer experiences like we want our pizza: we can pay for it online and it is brought to us. Most volunteers aren't out to be the "Linchpin" of volunteering, instead they want significant results with as little time investment as possible.
On the other hand, organizations can over-celebrate the volunteers who are able to hang out the longest. I heard a mission leader say this week that a volunteer, who wanted to be heard the most, wanted the mission leader's job, but said they had too much at stake (Money, title, education, etc...) to walk away from their current role. These types of volunteers will burn through mission leaders in order to remain the most influential, but they are not quick to take on personal risk.
So how can we find the pure-hearted volunteer? Look for these traits:
1. They are humble - Their passion to serve is greater than their desire to be seen.
2. They are coachable - They look to be coached so that the mission/organization/team can have a greater impact.
3. They create space - Regardless of what anyone says, what people set aside time to do is what's the most important thing in their heart. Absolutely nothing gets our attention unless we give it time first.
4. They are committed - This volunteer is all in. Missing something kills these people. They stress out about missing something and they over communicate about what they might miss.
We can be a generation who leads past this season where volunteerism is a "probably should" and create a season where volunteering is serving out of a calling.
What makes you want to serve?