Many churches rely heavily on volunteer labor because they don’t have the resources to pay staff for all of the work that needs to be done.
Churches need to have systems and processes in place to oversee and manage volunteers to ensure two things: 1. A great worker experience 2. To make certain that volunteer jobs are performed correctly.
A well-run volunteer program creates the infrastructure to support the management and oversight of church volunteers.
4 Tips For Churches Managing Volunteers
1. Communicate Clear Expectations
Volunteers donate their time and want to use that time efficiently.
Use this tool to communicate what it is volunteers are expected to do and help volunteers to successfully perform job duties.
For example, an usher who is assigned to distribute offering envelopes needs to know where to find those supplies, how many envelopes are placed in the pews and how often to check the envelope stock.
All of this information should be listed on a job description.
Good communication on the front-end can eliminate unnecessary issues on the back-end. This is why communication is so important!
2. Provide Tools and Training to Perform Job Tasks
Volunteers who have a positive experience will enjoy their assigned job and will be excited about helping.
Develop detailed training for job assignments so that volunteers understand exactly what the expectations are for performing their job duties.
For example, a new volunteer in the children’s ministry will need to be trained on the proper approach to dealing with child behavior issues. This means communicating clearly what is, as well as what isn’t acceptable discipline for an unruly child.
This type of communication and training helps the volunteer understand how to respond to issues they will deal with while in their volunteer role. But more importantly it will help to eliminate the inevitable issues that come with ministry.
3. Recognize Volunteer Contributions
Just like employees, volunteers should be recognized and rewarded for good performance.
This can be something as simple as a handwritten thank you note, or as complex as recognition at an annual volunteer banquet.
Regardless, take the time to think about what volunteers contribute, and recognize them for their efforts. This will help to reinforce the value they bring.
For example, if volunteers are working long hours to cover areas that are experiencing a shortage of workers, take some time to let the volunteers know that their hard work did not go unnoticed.
4. Celebrate Successes
Anyone who has been involved in a church event understands that it take a lot of work to pull it off successfully. Celebrating a successful event is a great way to acknowledge all of the hard work that went into it.
For example, I’ve seen churches spend months building campus Christmas displays that require hours of labor. Take some time after a major event, and celebrate the successes to reinforce the invaluable contributions volunteers make.
Most churches could not function without the countless hours of volunteer labor.
Take the time to develop a volunteer program, which facilitates the process of managing volunteers effectively, to ensure this valuable group of people enjoy a great volunteer experience.
What tips do you have for managing church volunteers?