FAT People Make The Best Volunteers

volunteer_handsWith the start of the new year many of us are trying to shed the fat. But when it comes to finding volunteers for our organizations, FAT is the new skinny. Find FAT people! Say it with me: “Find FAT people! Find FAT people!”

Ok, as you probably figured out, there’s a catch to this. Many years ago when I began in leadership, I learned an acronym that has stuck with me. It’s the three qualities you want to look for in someone you mentor or want to have serve with you. Here it is:


A vailable


It’s as true today as it was when I first heard this acronym. The people I want to “breathe into” and have serving alongside of me are people who are FAITHFUL to the vision and task, AVAILABLE to give the time the vision demands, and have a TEACHABLE spirit. A person can have all the talent in the world but if they do not possess these three qualities they will do more harm than good. You will have to spend time “cleaning up their messes”. They will jeopardize the team culture you are trying to develop. And ultimately, they will hinder your pursuit of the God-sized vision you’ve been given for your organization.
Here’s a practical suggestion. Go through your team and rate each of them in these three areas. As you coach your team, take the highest score for each person and find a way to affirm them over the next couple weeks. For example, “Bill, I just wanted to let you know how much I respect and appreciate how AVAILABLE you always are to help with whatever task is brought to you, big or small. It means so much to this organization.”

Ok, now the harder part. For those who have a low score, have a loving but firm conversation on how important it is for them to grow in that particular area. Remember your role as a coach. Brainstorm ways you can help them in developing that area over this coming year. And now the really hard part. If you have someone who continues to score low on TEACHABLE and is not teachable on learning to become teachable… it may be time to part ways. Never an easy conversation. As hard as that conversation may be, it won’t compare to the frustration of not effectively moving forward with your vision because you have some “wrong people on the bus”.

Ok, one more practical suggestion: Take the time to rate yourself as well. Ouch, right? If we expect our team to continue to grow and develop, we must lead by example. Take baby steps. Just focus on the lowest score for yourself. Spend the next couple months and focus on growing in that area. And this is important… be teachable enough to ask someone to come alongside of you and help you grow. Find a trainer who will help you get FAT!

John Maxwell, in his book “Equipping 101”, says “An organization’s growth potential is directly related to it’s personnel potential”. Want to grow your organization? Help develop a FAT personnel.

Say it with me one more time: “Find FAT people!”

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: