Every church needs more volunteers. Well on second thought, maybe not every church. I say that because some churches may NEED more volunteers, but they are not PREPARED for them. When it comes to volunteers one of the things that I have seen as a clear line is preparation. Churches that prepare for volunteers seem to have more of them. Churches that do not prepare tend to burn out the same small crew year after year.
So how can your church take steps to double your number of volunteers? I’m going to give you three very simple yet practical steps you can take:
- Build Job Descriptions
How many people would take a job with an unlimited list of duties? Not many. We want to know exactly what’s expected of us so we can perform well. Without clearly outlined duties, no matter how much we accomplish we still fall short.
Volunteers need to know what the job is. How often will they serve? What time should they arrive and leave? Who will they report to? All of these simple questions help potential volunteers make informed decisions about serving as a part of a team.
2. Schedule Your Volunteers
High-capacity people plan, and many of them plan in advance. Calling them at the last minute on a regular basis adds extra stress which they will gladly avoid. Scheduling helps you keep everyone aware of what’s happening and when you expect them. It also allows volunteers the freedom to let you know about the special moments in their lives as well. With a schedule, a volunteer can alert you to their upcoming anniversary or birthday, and they can plan to be out that week so someone else can be scheduled in their place.
To do this well, you will need Church Management Software. There are a ton of them out there so it’s just a matter of finding that one that fits you best. One of my favorites is BREEZE. It's super easy to use and allows you to schedule volunteers with RSVPs via text and email. You can also track which volunteers show up with check-ins. Breeze can do much more and you can explore it if you would like. In our coaching program, we walk with pastors and their leaders to set up their software to get the most out of it.
3. Build a Pipeline
Serving is a standard expectation in the Kingdom of God. It should not be something done by a few, rather it should be embraced by all. Yet, many congregations are filled with what I call “pew” members. They come to church grab a pew, then leave. So how can you change this? By building a pipeline.
To build a volunteer pipeline, you need to set the expectation for serving as a part of the intake process. This means connecting serving to your new member’s/discipleship class. A great way to make this happen is to offer spiritual gifts assessments. Once a person discovers their gifts, point them in a clear direction to use those gifts. Help them see how God has called them to serve, then challenge them to step up. Some still won’t serve for various reasons. Inconsistent schedules and overloaded lives lead some to see the church as their only place of relief. But with this strategy in place, you will see an uptick in the number of volunteers who say yes.
Now that you have the strategy, put it in place. Over the past 12 months, we have seen a ton of churches have success reaching new people and onboarding them onto the team. Now it's your turn.
Hope this adds value,
Most churches struggle to reach numerical and financial growth, so at Simple Systems, we help you and your team build the systems that foster spiritual growth. When you foster spiritual growth, your church can see numerical and financial growth happen more easily.
In the past year, 42% of pastors have considered leaving the ministry.
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