Because regardless of the size, style or location – every church needs more volunteers.
So often it seems a leader’s main frustration is knowing how to get people to volunteer in church, getting them more involved and serving in some way.
If this is you, you might want to take a look at Volunteer Rocket – it’s monthly core coaching with modules and video training on exactly how to gain, train and retain church volunteers.
What I’m going to share with you is a brief overview of one of modules of the Volunteer Rocket course. For more details you can head over TheRocketCompany.com and hear pastors and church leaders have benefited from taking the online training course.
Today I want to give you 7 quick tips on how you help encourage more people to step up and get involved in the work of your church.
So whether you need to recruit more children’s church workers, youth leaders, musicians, or greeters, here they are (in no particular order)…
1. Show Them the Big Picture
You need excite people with the church’s vision – get them to see the bigger picture. That means your job is to cast the vision at every opportunity you get. You must become the vision.
If you’re not excited by it then don’t be surprised if your people aren’t exactly giddy with enthusiasm either.
A more in-depth discussion on what vision is and how to increase people’s level of commitment can be found within the Volunteer Rocket community section.
In short, people will not give their time to volunteer purely because there’s a spot that needs filling; they give because they trust you as a leader and they can see where the church is heading.
“And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.“” Habakkuk 2:2
2. Let Them Know They Can Make a Difference
So they get the bigger picture, now show them they can have a part in it. Everybody wants to make a difference, to be influential.
Nobody wants to be a nobody and everybody wants to be a somebody.
No matter how menial they task may be: washing cups after the service, doing the books, replacing light bulbs or directing people where to park – show your potential volunteers that the part they play is vital to the overall success of the church.
If you have something considering becoming a part of the children’s church team, tell the personal story of the family that recently joined the church and how Timmy was struggling at school but since they joined the church 3 months ago, Timmy’s grades have gone up and now he’s really coming out of his shell…
Whatever your example is, show people their contribution counts.
“You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything.“
1 Cor 12:27 (The Message)
If your church is big enough to have paid staff then you make sure you treat volunteers no differently to them. Honour and value your existing volunteers. In fact, celebrate your volunteers! (See: 30 Creative Ways To Say “Thank You!” To Your Church Volunteers)
People see this. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to join a team of miserable people. But if I can see people who love what they’re doing and feeling fulfilled and having a great time – “Sure why not? Looks like fun!”
Seriously though, don’t differentiate between your staff and people working for you for free.
If you offer early Sunday morning coffee and doughnut to your staff, do the same for all of your workers. Really work hard at removing the gap between paid staff and volunteers.
4. Invest Your Best Into Your Volunteers
Begin monthly leadership classes for all volunteers. Teach them everything you know about creating the right environments and culture, how to deal with confrontation, how to recruit other volunteers, how to do what they’re doing even better.
Give them your best. Don’t teach people where they’re at but always at a level higher. They will rise to that.
Not only is this another way to value your existing teams, but this will raise curiosity with the other church members. You want them asking “I wonder what they are being taught? Are they getting special time with the pastor?” They”ll want in on it.
5. Assure Them Volunteering is not a Life-Sentence
Most people are scared to even offer to help because too many times we are so hungry for volunteers that as soon as anyone shows interest we latch onto them and never let them go.
This is where a trial run, or ‘first serve’ comes in. The first rule of the serve is that there are no strings attached. Because a first serve has no strings attached, it encourages people to try out different ministries and find one that fits them.
A first serve is just a taste. If the person likes it, they come back. If not, they try something else.
No big deal.
This low-pressure environment encourages people to explore any ministry that interests them. The more ministries they try out, the more likely they’ll find the perfect place to serve. This makes them happier in their work and more willing to continue volunteering.
After that, maybe ask them to commit to 12 weeks, or 6 months, whatever the case may be. At this point you or the ministry department leader can review it from there.
6. Make It Easy To Volunteer
If you’re forcing people to jump through flaming hoops whilst doing a back flip before they can serve, then don’t be surprised if nobody comes forward!
My rule is that as long as it’s not the worship leader or preaching role, anybody can do anything.
I don’t ask them to complete a 3 month discipleship course, or to be a tither of the church for 3 years before inviting them to volunteer. Newcomers can get involved in their first week if they want to.
I want to make it as easy and accessible as possible to step up and serve. Not only does a job role give a person responsibility and a feeling of importance, but they are now a part of a working group, a team.
They’re plugged in and they feel like they belong.
7. Ask People Personally
Have you ever stood up at the front of church an asked people to sign up to the hospitality team and no one has? I know I have.
When it comes to asking people to volunteer, the direct approach is always best. Meet up with them for coffee, tell them how their skills are perfectly suited in a particular ministry and just ask.
I’ve even been to churches that tell prospective members upfront that if they join, they’ll be expected to volunteer.
Surprisingly, people aren’t as put off as you might think. They see that if everyone is helping out then they are less likely to be locked in for life.
If you haven’t yet, to learn more on how to get more people to step up and volunteer, take advantage of the Volunteer Rocket 7 Day FREE test drive here.
What’s your experience with getting people to step up and be involved? Share your comments below.