If you’ve been on vacation and gotten texts and phone calls from volunteers in church, then here’s an episode that will launch your team to a place where you can vacation in peace.
Discover how you can find the right volunteers for your ministry, keep them onboard, and even have them grow the team for you.
If your church volunteers can be confident in what they do, it spills over into others.
On the other hand, if they are constantly met with confusion and hesitation, they will skip sharing the experience with their friends.
A great volunteer team boils down to systems and structures, and expectations.
So how do you set up a team that has boundless confidence and excitement that spreads and grows?
Let’s get to it…
Start With Clear Expectations For Your Volunteers
Figure out exactly what positions you need on your team, and what their responsibilities will be. Do this before you announce that you need volunteers.
Don’t be that guy that has to respond to an interested volunteer with, “Well, we don’t know exactly what you’ll be doing…we’re gonna kinda see where you can fit in.”
Know how many people you need, their time commitment, and their exact duties.
If you’re in a leadership position and someone comes to you with a cool ministry idea, don’t hesitate in asking them what the volunteer requirements are.
You want to avoid situations where you announce a new project or ministry and people sign up for something by mistake. E.G. Someone signs up for the video ministry thinking they will hold a camera when instead you need a video editor.
Set clear expectations. You’ll get more qualified volunteers in church when they know what they’re signing up for.
Finding The Right Volunteers In Church
Starting a team is all about finding the right people.
Find the people who have the natural talent or experience that can plug in immediately. But also use people who are just excited to be a part of the team and are willing to learn.
You can teach anyone how to improve your church website, but you can’t teach excitement and willingness. So don’t get too caught up on the technical skills, a servant’s heart is just as useful.
When you first recruit someone to the team, don’t dump everything on them at once. Give them a “trial period.” Allow them to get their feet wet and relax knowing that if it’s not a good fit, there is an exit ramp for them.
If you’re the ministry leader, trial periods also allow you to excuse volunteers if they are not a good fit.
But the biggest benefit for both of you is the evaluation that comes after the trial period. You can learn how they experienced working in your ministry, and they can get feedback on how to improve themselves.
Sometimes you’ll find the “right” person, but the season isn’t right. They’re busy with other commitments, transitioning out, or just not interested.
The key to these situations is to have this person name someone else that can help. How do you do that? The secret kept inside of Adam’s eBook, The Pigs Are On The Runway. (Don’t worry, it’s free to download)
Maintaining Your Volunteer Team
How do you keep everyone sharp on their duties?
Running sound, doing church announcements, even cleaning after an event…no matter what the volunteer job is, there are things that need to be done every time…and a checklist is how you can make sure all jobs are carried out consistently.
When you use a checklist as a part of training, you verify that every person is trained the same way. You’ll never wonder, “I showed Jerry how to add a church website contact form, but did I remember to tell Elaine?”
As an added bonus, your volunteers can turn around and start training others using the training checklist. This is one of the main mechanisms of a volunteer team that grows itself.
Keep checklists of everything your volunteer needs to do while on the job. Pre-service checklist, video editing checklist, event planning checklist, etc.
Using the checklists will sometimes seem redundant and annoying. But what you’re really doing is taking the hardest part of volunteerism out of the equation…remembering everything to do.
On-the-job checklists are how you guarantee the job is done well every time.
Leave Room For Feedback & Improvement
Give your volunteers in church clear goals every day. And give them one thing to improve on.
We are in ministry for the long run. If you give your volunteer 50 steps to improve in one morning, you’re setting them up for failure.
But if you can give them one thing to improve on every service, in one year they’ll stay fresh and know those 50 steps by heart.
And give your volunteers the opportunity for feedback. Let them evaluate themselves with how they did. You’ll have the knowledge of what their struggles are and how they can improve. This will give them the proper setup to grow the team themselves.
Your volunteers in church are more than button-monkeys. They serve a specific purpose inside of your mission.
So tell them that!
Let them know when someone benefits from their ministry. Even if it’s not life-changing, let them know when their presence made a difference.
Growing The Team
While you may be able to handle 4 Sundays a month, your volunteers in church may not.
Never stop building your volunteer team. When you follow these steps, you’re laying the groundwork for your team to operate confidently, which then sets up to comfortably invite their friends to join the team.
Set the expectation that your volunteers are in charge of inviting new people AND do the training.
They have the training checklist, they have the experience, they can do the training. When you set them up this way they have 100% ownership and will grow the team for you.
A year ago, if you had told Adam that you could create a volunteer team that grows itself, he would’ve responded with, “Yeah, when pigs fly!”
Well right now, the pigs are on the runway.
This. Is. Possible.
Get Adam’s eBook and find out how you can create your own volunteer team that will grow itself.
What volunteer ministry will you grow next? Leave a comment below and let’s chat!