Every church depends, to one degree or another, on volunteers.
We know how difficult that can be, as attracting and keeping enthusiastic volunteers can feel like a never-ending struggle. But there are certain things you can do to help you engage capable, high-energy people who will help your church thrive and grow.
Follow these five steps and you’ll be well on your way to find more quality helpers.
1. LET THEM KNOW THEY’RE NEEDED
It’s easy for church members to remain passive and uninvolved if you never ask them to become active. They might assume that all your needs are already met.
Reach out to your congregants, individually and as a whole, and let them know their help is needed. If you know of someone’s particular skill-set, explain how and why you’d love their help! Everyone likes to feel needed, and your effort to seek them out individually will go a long way.
2. MAKE IT AN INVITATION, NOT A RECRUITMENT
When you recruit people, it’s to do a particular task, and then they’re done. When you invite them, you’re asking them to join the church community, not to perform a particular job. Welcome them to become a greater part of the church mission, a commitment that lasts beyond a single event.
3. RAISE UP YOUR VOLUNTEERS
Be sure to acknowledge the work of your volunteers and share their valuable contributions with the rest of your church family. Ask that they be recognized and praised by everyone. Not only will that help keep your current volunteers, it will encourage others to step forward.
4. USE YOUR VOLUNTEERS
Nothing is more discouraging to would-be volunteers who finally mustered up the courage to raise their hands than to not be put to work. Find something for them to do, even if it’s not an immediate priority. Get them involved. Once they start, it will be much more difficult for them to stop.
5. DON’T BE OVERLY PARTICULAR
It’s a rare occurrence when the perfect volunteer appears for every task. Sometimes you have to trust an inexperienced volunteer will rise to the occasion. Look for hard-working, enthusiastic people, give them clear direction and the right tools, and watch them surprise you.