A qualitative study of volunteer experience and motivation in a Christian setting
The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of volunteer experience and motivation by (a) identifying major influences impacting the volunteer with the Christian setting, (b) analyzing the impact of those influences upon volunteer experience and motivation, and (c) inferring volunteer motivation from that impact. Special attention was paid to the influences of the organization's climate, management practices of supervision and evaluation and involvement in a peer support group.The setting for this study was a Christian church with a membership of 726 people, located in a mid-sized town in Indiana. In this study formal interviews were conducted with ten informants chosen for their volunteer teaching activity. Using a recording device, three hours of interview evidence was gathered from each informant. This evidence was transcribed and analyzed.Five major categories of influence within this Christian setting emerged through an analysis of the evidence:Characteristics of the organizationInfluence of peer support group participationBenefits received by the volunteerFrustrations with volunteer teachingInteraction between the volunteer's Christian faith and the teaching experienceThis study's major conclusion was that a comprehensive peer support group system should be developed to address the problems of organizational support, teacher training, supervision and evaluation, and teacher accountability. This support group system should also address the need for greater church-wide communication and improved spiritual growth opportunities.