Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
The beauty of a church community is the abundance of committed people who have a passion for helping the church achieve its vision and mission.
Volunteers are the engine of the church because they donate the man-hours to ensure everything gets done.
And many people use the volunteer experience to get to know other church community members.
Create a well-run volunteer management program to ensure a great experience for those volunteers.
Additionally, a structured volunteer orientation process can help ensure a positive experience by helping to prepare them for their new job responsibilities.
10 Points To Cover In Volunteer Orientation
1. History of the Church
People who have attended the same church for a long time can typically recite the church’s history.
New volunteers should also know when and how the church started.
Share pertinent statistics like how many people attended the first service, where the early services were held compared to current membership, and the progression of the church to provide volunteers with a historical perspective.
2. Mission, Vision, and Values
The mission, vision, and values of a church steer its direction.
This makes it important for volunteers to understand why the church exists and what it hopes to achieve.
Sharing this valuable information helps connect the volunteer to the church mission intimately.
3. Information About the Pastor(s)
New volunteers should know who all the pastors are, where they were before serving this church, where they went to school, information about their families, and what responsibilities they have in the church.
This helpful information provides the volunteer with a guide for whom to go to for additional information and/or to address church-related issues.
4. Church Culture
Every organization’s culture affects how information is communicated, decisions are made, and people interact.
Giving a synopsis of church culture helps the volunteer understand the unwritten rules of behavior.
For example, if the church is very traditional, the culture may be less tolerant of talking in church than one that is a little more relaxed and contemporary.
The goal is to help the volunteer understand the behavioral norms.
5. Do’s and Don’ts of Volunteers
Since everyone comes from different backgrounds, we all have different frames of reference and life experiences.
Volunteers should be given specific instructions on behaviors that are expected and those that are not expected when they represent the church in their volunteer role.
An example of this might be a volunteer is expected to report for their job at the scheduled time (do), but a volunteer should not park in the reserved parking area (don’t).
Communicating with the volunteer during orientation and in the volunteer job description helps the volunteer understand expectations and ultimately minimizes volunteer issues.
6. Customer Service Standards
Anyone who works in the service industry understands customer service standards.
A church volunteer is no different and should become familiar with the expectations for serving church customers (other volunteers, staff, or congregation).
Reviewing these standards helps the volunteer understand the basic service expectations.
For example, it is important to communicate service expectations for volunteers working with children – specifically, how to manage difficult children or respond to challenging parents.
These can be sensitive issues and can be explosive if not handled properly.
Take the time to set your volunteers up for success, so they know exactly how to respond to any situation.
7. Dress Code
It always helps to communicate what is appropriate and what is not appropriate to wear when serving in a volunteer capacity.
Some churches have very formal dress codes (suits, ties, skirts, jackets) while others are less formal (business casual, jeans) – it just depends on the culture and tradition of the church. Regardless, volunteers should know what is expected of them.
Volunteers need to understand the church chain of command, not to recognize who the boss is but to know who to go to with issues or problems.
An example of this would be if the volunteer found that the restroom was out of hand soap, they would know the staff employee or volunteer to go to replenish the supplies.
This is so the volunteer doesn’t approach the pastor about soap right before he gets ready to preach to the congregation.
A printed organizational chart is also very helpful in showing a picture of this.
9. Communication Process
Volunteers need lots of information about events, changes, or other things going on with the church, so they should know where to find the needed information.
For example, a volunteer should know who to call if they have to miss their scheduled shift, or if volunteer schedules are posted on the church website, the volunteer knows to go there for that information.
10. Volunteer Program
Volunteer orientation is a great time to explain the volunteer program and how it supports the volunteers.
Taking a few minutes to explain how to contact the volunteer office and what services it provides will help the volunteer understand who, how, and when to communicate.
Volunteers Are A Church’s Greatest Asset
Volunteers are one of the greatest assets a church has.
Ensure they are managed well, receive thorough communication, and understand their role as a volunteer, and you will set the stage for a fulfilling volunteer experience. And isn’t that the goal?
We have created a PowerPoint Presentation for your volunteer orientation to simplify your life.
Insert your logo, mission, vision, and other information, and you will be ready to present to your volunteers!
If you are a member, you can access this PowerPoint Presentation by logging in here.
If you are not a member but want to access an editable copy of this PowerPoint Presentation, click here.
What other things do you discuss in your volunteer orientation program?