If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written on developing effective volunteer teams at your church, you’ve probably heard me say that I’ve never met a church leader who said they have enough volunteers. In fact, the opposite is typically true. Having too few church volunteers is one of the most frequent complaints that I hear from church leaders. Most of the time, it’s not due to a lack of effort or trying. It’s usually due to taking the wrong approach with volunteerism in the church.
That being said, below are 5 things that the people who volunteer at your church expect from you. They may or may not say it, but they want it. And if they don’t get it, it will probably keep them from volunteering at your church.
1. Easy Process
Joining a volunteer team should be easy. But unfortunately, at most churches, you have to jump through a bunch of hoops to be allowed to serve. Have you said yes to following Jesus? Have you been baptized? Are you a member of the church? Have you filled out a volunteer application? Been through a volunteer interview? Have you been through training first? Sounds exhausting… and not very easy. While you probably need to know Jesus to lead, you don’t need to know Jesus to serve. Develop an easy process for people at your church to serve and I bet you’ll end up enlisting more volunteers and developing more leaders.
2. Clear Communication
This one doesn’t have to be that difficult but you wouldn’t know that by the way many churches handle it. Following up with people in a timely manner isn’t a strategy; it’s simply polite and the right way to treat people. Be clear about what the volunteers need to know, where they need to go, what time they need to be there, who will meet them, what to expect their first time, and more. Then, thank them afterwards and ask them about their experience.
3. Meaningful Ministry
Joining a volunteer team gives people the opportunity to do something meaningful with their lives. Most people do not volunteer because they dream of managing administrative details, but rather because they want to make a difference in people’s lives. Do the administration for them so they have a great experience ministering to people.
4. Be a Part of the Team
Everyone wants to be a part of a team where they feel valued. Volunteering is quickly becoming one of the first steps that people take at a church. It’s much less intimidating to join a volunteer team than it is to show up to a stranger’s house and talk about your feelings and the Bible. Volunteer teams are a great way to help new people get connected and build meaningful relationships.
5. Resources and Training
No one likes to be put in a position where they feel like they don’t know what they’re doing. One of the easiest ways you can build trust with volunteers is to give them basic training and resources to help them be fantastic at what they’re doing.