Every church faces the challenges when it comes to volunteer recruitment. How can you encourage your members to help the church run more effectively and fulfill the ministry’s vision—so that the burden is shared by a larger percentage of members and not simply by a faithful few? If your church needs help encouraging your members to volunteer, here are seven ways to improve your church’s volunteer recruitment.
1. Give Clear Expectations
Many church members resist volunteering because the job description is vague. Churches make a plea for children’s church workers without giving any idea of the age of the children or the time commitment. Is the person volunteering to help with the two-year-olds, the middle grade students, or the special needs kids? And are they needed on Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights, just during a special event, or for a mixture of dates? Are they expected to volunteer every week, twice a month, or once a month? Answering these kinds of questions will give people the chance to make informed decisions.
2. Set an End Date
Another reason people resist volunteering is because they fear that once they do, they’ll have fallen down the volunteer rabbit hole. The only way they’ll be free of it is by disappointing leadership and leaving the church in a quandary. Instead, ask people to make a quantifiable commitment and give them the chance to re-enlist at the end of it. For instance, maybe you ask for a 12-month commitment from the date they begin. So they serve from January to January or June to June. Or maybe you ask for a school-year commitment and then ask others to volunteer for the summer. This gives people a sense of control over their time.
3. Say Thank You
People want to feel valued and appreciated. Consider holding a special annual event for volunteers, maybe a special banquet or family picnic. Make volunteering part of your church’s culture, something people want to be a part of.
4. Match the Individual to the Position
Prayerfully consider the people in your congregation—their life experiences and their strengths. Ask a person face-to-face to consider volunteering in a position in which you believe they would thrive. For instance, if you have a man in your congregation who is a great father, consider inviting him to be part of the middle or high school ministry. If you have a woman in your church who is a graphic artist, ask her to help with your church’s visual arts. Have a young person who loves social media? Invite him or her to be an administrator on the church’s social media. It will feel less like work for each one because they can volunteer in an area in which they already thrive.
5. Invite Couples or Friends to Serve Together
Many people would rather serve with a spouse or friend than on their own. So why not ask people to sign up in twos? It not only gives your church two volunteers for the price of one, but it also builds community by allowing people to join with a buddy.
6. Make Training a Priority
It’s an awful feeling to receive a volunteer assignment but not know how to do it. If people are standing around uncomfortable or unclear on their assignment, they’ll either do a poor job or make a quick exit from the whole process. Be specific on what you need done and how you need it done. If time for training is limited, then allow them to shadow a more experienced volunteer.
7. Share the Successes
Let your volunteers be part of the success of your ministry. Allow them to see that their contribution makes a difference in the lives of others; it’s not merely busy time. For instance, if a student in your bus ministry makes a decision to serve Jesus, recognize the bus driver’s part in that—that he or she played a key role in that salvation. The same goes for those who build the backdrops or clean the church, or provide security during the services. The ministry in your church would not be possible without every person functioning together and doing their part. Let these seven solutions help you build a thriving volunteer recruitment plan in your church. And as your number of volunteers grows, be sure to have good Church Management Software (ChMS) in place to help you communicate with your people. A system like FellowshipOne allows you to keep track of and segment your volunteers so they know what they’re doing, when they’re doing it, and how much they are appreciated for all they do. With FellowshipOne, you can send email and text messages to people in different areas and even conduct background checks. Let one of our Solutions Specialists show you how we can help you!