Don't know their name. Just see them as someone to fill a position and don't get to know them personally.
Don't place them in their sweet spot. Instead of finding out their interests, talents and passion just place them wherever you have a need.
Don't give them proper training. Just place them in the room...they'll figure it out.
Don't help them get relationally connected. They don't need to build relationships with the people they serve with. They can just come in, do their duty and leave.
Don't ask for their input or ideas. Shove down directions and don't worry about getting their insight or feedback.
Don't communicate with them. Leave them in the dark about upcoming dates, details, lesson plans and other important information. When they call...don't return their calls. When they email with a questions...don't respond.
Don't follow ratios. Put them in a room with one other person and 35 preschoolers. Place 20 kids in their small group. Ask them to take care of 4 babies by themselves.
Don't ever thank them. They should be serving for Jesus, not for the applause of men.
Don't promote them. Leave them in the same role forever. Don't develop them and help them move into new volunteer roles with more responsibility.
Don't give them credit. Take all the credit for victories and make sure you're in the spotlight instead of them. You wouldn't want them to have to struggle with pride.
If you want to keep your volunteers long-term, then obviously do the opposite of everything listed above. Without your volunteers...you don't have a children's ministry. Love them, honor them, value them, listen to them and take great care of them.
Your turn. What are some other things that cause us to lose volunteers? Share with us in the comment section below.