“Volunteers are the lifeblood of any ministry, but as your church continues to grow, it can be tough to get your volunteer team to grow along with it.”
After pastoring for 12 years, I’ve learned the secret to attracting more volunteers (often more than you thought you needed).
Here it is: Happy Volunteers Reproduce.
Yes, the single best way to attract more volunteers to your ministry doesn’t start with a recruitment process, it starts by focusing on the team you already have.
In order to attract more volunteers, you first have to create a healthy and vibrant culture that others want to be a part of.
Here are the five key strategies that you can implement to start producing and reproducing happy volunteers.
#1. Cast a vision
Show your volunteers the big picture, then show each one of them how they play a part in it.
There’s nothing worse than having a volunteer in your church that believes his/her role is meaningless. As the leader, it is your job to cast the vision for where your church is headed and to communicate to each and every volunteer, how they fit into the overall vision.
There are no meaningless jobs in your church. Every job that exists is important to running an effective ministry. You know that, now it’s time for each of your volunteers to know it too.
When each and every one of your volunteers sees that they play a vital role in the work you’re doing for the Kingdom, they will be more effective, more motivated, and will attract other people to join your team.
Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”
#2. Set Clear Expectations
Failing to set clear expectations for a volunteer is like hiring someone to deliver a package without telling them their destination.
They will drive around forever, wasting time, energy, and resources, not understanding where it is they’re supposed to be going.
Failure to set clear expectations will result in:
- Important goals not being met
- Frustrated leaders
- Burnt-out and confused volunteers
- Ineffective ministry
When setting expectations, be sure to:
- Be clear
- Set specific deadlines
- Follow up
When you set clear expectations, your volunteers will feel confident, knowing that they’re doing it the right way and not having to guess. They will feel a sense of accomplishment when they meet the deadlines you’ve set for them, which will help them avoid burnout.
Deadlines give people purpose because they’re progressing towards a tangible goal, and they also give you, the leader, an opportunity to execute the third step, rewarding them.
#3 Find creative ways to recognize and reward your volunteers.
When you set clear expectations, it’s important to recognize and/or reward your volunteers for following through with them.
In our careers, our companies can communicate how valuable we are through compensation, but when communicating how valuable our volunteers are, we have to be more creative.
Public recognition or even meeting one on one with volunteers to communicate how good of a job they’re doing can work wonders in keeping your volunteers feeling valued, happy, and motivated.
Be intentional about this. Intentional recognition will help you retain volunteers, keep happy volunteers, and attract more volunteers than you thought you needed.
If you’re having trouble thinking of ways to reward your volunteers on a low budget, try some of the following:
- Give away free iPads. (just kidding)
- Hold a banquet once per quarter and feed all of your volunteers a meal.
- Reward productive volunteers with more responsibilities if they want to be more involved.
- Handwrite a note to each of your volunteers and point out specific things you appreciate.
- Meet one on one with each volunteer to encourage them and compliment how great of a job they’re doing.
#4. Find ways to invest in the volunteers personally
Zig Zigler- “If you help people achieve their dreams, you will have no problem getting them to help you achieve yours.”
Meet one on one with your volunteers. Listen to them and ask questions about their lives, their goals, and their dreams. Then, see what role they can fill in the church that can help them learn and grow toward their own goals.
Giving them valuable experience in a field they are interested in is a great way to reward them and keep them motivated without compensation.
#5 TRAIN YOUR VOLUNTEERS
Take your time in making sure each volunteer you have is well trained, has a sense of purpose, and is happy in their position. This will help you retain the volunteers you do have and will attract more volunteers as your church continues to grow.
This is the last, but most important tip to keeping your volunteer force happy, motivated, and growing.
An untrained volunteer is not equipped to be doing what they’re doing and is likely to make unnecessary mistakes. When you don’t properly train your volunteers, each person will come up with their own way of doing things. This will lead to a lack of consistency, a lack of focus, and therefore a lack of effectiveness for your church at large.
I know what you’re thinking to yourself, “I know it’s important, but I don’t have the time or resources to train every single volunteer perfectly.” And you’re right, training can be a very time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be.
With ChurchLEARN, you can simply record all of your training ONCE, and upload it onto the site. Then, any new volunteer simply needs to go on the site, watch the training video, and get trained.
No more coordinating a current volunteer’s schedule with a new volunteer’s schedule to find a time to train. Each volunteer can watch the training on their own time. No more lack of consistency in the training. People won’t have to “wing it” anymore. Every single person will get the exact same training from the exact same video.
If you know you need a new system for your volunteer training. Contact us today, and schedule a Demo of our training system. We’d love to walk you through the process and help you meet your church’s specific needs so you can do more effective Kingdom ministry.