Without motivated church volunteers, we simply wouldn’t be able to do what we do.
People power is essential if you want to grow your church.
This is why it’s so important we learn not just how to get more church volunteers, but how to retain them too.
The challenge for us as church leaders is to learn how to keep our church volunteers motivated, and this can be challenging at times.
Each church volunteer is an individual and they may respond differently to a range of motivating factors.
Whether you need Sunday school workers, youth helpers or welcome staff, Church Fuel is my #1 recommended training resource on how to gain, train and retain church volunteers.
As Christians, we are called to serve no matter the cost. However, that does not mean the church should treat people with disrespect or disregard.
In fact, quite the opposite.
We must be more sensitive to and considerate of those who are giving of their time and talent to help the church advance its mission and serve others.
Now let’s take a quick look at nine smart strategies to motivate your church volunteers:
1. Say Thank You
As obvious as this sounds, when did you last say thank you to your volunteers?
Even though their volunteering comes from a real passion and a good heart, your volunteers still want to be appreciated for what they do.
If their efforts are not being recognized, they’re more likely to ditch the cause and become less and less available.
How can you show your appreciation?
Get creative – praise them publicly, throw a volunteer appreciation evening – go overboard with your appreciation and you’ll be surprised at the results.
2. Show Them They’re Making A Difference
There’s no better method of topping up the motivation tank of your volunteers than by letting them see the results of their hard work.
We all want to make a difference, don’t we?
Hearing a child who after months of attending Sunday school dedicating his whole heart to the Lord is something no volunteer will ever forget.
Whatever role your church volunteer undertakes, ensure they know how they fit into the bigger and how their contribution makes a big difference.
Is it your church’s birthday?
Seen new believers get baptised?
Just had a brilliant invite a friend to church Sunday?
Celebrate milestones with the people who helped make it happen.
Let them see how their contribution is translating into real results.
Remind them why they joined up in the first place.
3. Check They’re A Good Fit
Sometimes volunteers struggle to feel motivated, not because they don’t love the church or see the vision of what you’re trying to accomplish – it’s just that what they’re doing right now doesn’t fit right for them.
Sit down and talk to them about where their passions, talents and skills are.
Perhaps it’s time for a change.
Knowing you’re playing to and growing in your strengths is a great motivator.
Take Your Church To The Next Level 📈
4. Invest Your Best Into Your Volunteers
You can motivate your church volunteers by giving them training and development opportunities.
Do they have all the resources and skills necessary to do their job well?
Give your volunteers the knowledge they need to succeed at their task.
Send your worship team to a worship-leading seminar, sign your sound man up to sound technician training and take your welcome team to visit other churches to see how they do it.
Almost everyone wants to maximise the contribution they make to their church, yet many receive little or no training for the role they’ve been given.
If volunteers are saddled with tasks beyond their capabilities, they may become frustrated or burn out more quickly.
Providing training opportunities not only shows them that you value them enough to invest in them, but it motivates them to better themselves.
5. Give Church Volunteers Some Flexibility
For years we struggled with finding people who would make a commitment to teach Sunday school for twelve months.
When we finally opted for a rotating schedule (one month on/one month off) we had more than enough people to draw from.
Church volunteers will feel more motivated when we show we are sensitive to the hectic lifestyles they lead.
From my experience, when we work to accommodate them at the level of their availability, they are more willing to accommodate us.
6. Treat Church Volunteers Like Pros
You want to work really hard at removing the gap between your paid and unpaid staff.
Treat your volunteers like the professionals they are.
If you offer early Sunday morning coffee and doughnut to your staff, do the same for all of your workers.
Remember that the people are working for you free because they believe in the cause and they believe in you as the leader.
7. Keep Communication Lines Open
A lack of communication is like kryptonite to a motivated church volunteer.
Whether church-wide or at a departmental level, regular meetings are vital as they will give your volunteers a sense of direction, especially at the beginning of their service.
Make sure you give volunteers a chance to have their say and provide support and supervision when it’s a new area of responsibility for them.
Have an open door policy: try to be accessible and approachable; volunteers should feel comfortable coming to you for advice and if they have any questions or concerns.
Also, you or a staff member should check in with them from time to time.
8. Connected Volunteers = Motivated Volunteers
As soon as a member steps up to serve, introduce them to other volunteers and staff so they get to know everyone.
As they feel settled in the organisation, ask their opinions or involve them in the decision-making process when possible, so they feel personally invested in the project.
Why not invite your workers for a meal every so often?
Does each department have its own nights out?
Even the most mundane of tasks is so much more fun when you feel like you’re part of a team. If you want to have motivated church volunteers, ensure they feel like they belong.
9. Give Volunteers Time Off
However passionate, enthused and motivated someone might be, there comes a point when all of us just need a break.
Church work is people work and people work leaves people pooped.
Sunday school teachers, who are encouraged to take the summer off from teaching (because they teach nine months straight for ten years in a row), are more inclined to return in the fall refreshed with their emotional elastic replenished.
Whether it be gardeners, greeters, or worship leaders – sometimes giving them a breather can be the best investment we can make for a refreshed, re-energised and re-motivated church volunteer.
Fuel Your Church Growth 📈
Motivating your church volunteers is crucial for the growth and success of your church.
It’s not just about recruiting more volunteers, but also about retaining and energising them to serve with passion and dedication.
Now that you have these 9 smart strategies to motivate your church volunteers, it’s time to take action.
Remember, building a motivated volunteer team is a journey, and it won’t happen overnight, but with consistent effort and care, you can create a thriving volunteer community that impacts lives and drives your church’s mission forward.
As you embark on this journey, I want to offer you a valuable resource that can further support and equip you in gaining, training, and retaining church volunteers.
Check out Church Fuel, the ultimate resource hub for church leaders.
With Church Fuel, you’ll gain access to 15+ insanely practical courses, resources, and 1-on-1 coaching sessions designed to empower your church and ministry teams.
You’ll also join a community of 4000+ pastors and tap into the tools you need to supercharge your ministry.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your church to the next level. Invest in your volunteers, invest in your ministry, and see the impact it makes on your church’s growth and the lives you touch.
There you have it!
Which of these nine smart strategies will you implement today?
How do you keep your church volunteers motivated?
Please share your comments below.