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Churches are busy places and it takes lots of people to get it all done. New member involvement is crucial to helping a church achieve its mission.
There is a saying, “many hands make light work”. What this means is the more people who help, the easier it is for everyone.
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle states that statistically speaking, 20% of your workforce will do 80% of the work.
Think about your volunteer workforce and you will undoubtedly find that a mere 20% of your membership (active volunteers) is doing 80% of the work to make church happen.
This reality is the reason your church is at risk of burnout, not only of employees but of the valuable, free volunteer workforce.
New Members Can Help
This is a window of time that is important to get new church members involved!
New members want to know that there are programs available to meet their particular spiritual and social needs.
For instance, if a new member is a young family, they will want to know that your church offers a vibrant Children’s Ministry.
Many visitors hesitate to make the commitment to membership because they may not understand the process or what they are committing to.
Helping new church members answer this question may be the key to getting them involved and participating in the mission of the church.
6 Ways to Get New Members Involved
1. Clarify the Mission and Vision
When people join a church they want to know why that church exists and what it is trying to achieve.
Every church has a different mission and vision and church leadership should consistently remind church members of the call and the mission.
This can be done in a number of different ways.
Weaving the mission and vision into the sermons is one of the best ways to keep it in front of the people but you can also use other media for this.
The church newsletter, website, mobile app, printed materials, and print on walls in public areas are ways to communicate.
For instance, make sure your church website has a page that specifically shares your Mission, Vision, and Values Statement.
This constant reminder reinforces current members and inspires people who are on the fence about participation.
2. Articulate the Need
It takes people to achieve the mission. Help new members understand this need by communicating clearly and consistently.
Church members need to understand what the challenges are and the support needed to realize the vision.
For instance, if your church is planning its annual picnic, help members understand the need by sharing areas of volunteer opportunities for that church event.
Create an internal system that focuses on sharing opportunities to serve. Schedule specific weeks or months of the year to focus on articulating the need to support the call.
For instance, host volunteer recruitment events every quarter. Use this event to highlight volunteer opportunities and share program success stories.
3. Create Organized Systems
Everyone appreciates organized systems. Even people who are not particularly organized enjoy simple and streamlined processes.
Engage current church members and volunteers and solicit their help in identifying areas that need improvement and constantly raise the bar on structure and organization.
For instance, use your current volunteer population and commit to soliciting feedback regularly to learn from their experience.
The beauty of organized processes is that once the system is built it merely needs ongoing maintenance to keep it running smoothly. Everyone benefits.
4. Use Others to Recruit
Every organization should have individuals designated to help identify new people and welcome them to the church.
For instance, create a welcome team that is designated to help transition new members.
Use this team to explain the mission, active church programs and to encourage participation.
Have them partner with new members and orient them to the church culture and internal processes.
5. Create Easy Access
Use the church newsletter, website, or mobile app to make information about getting involved easily accessible.
Take advantage of these communication media to provide easy steps to access involvement.
Provide contact information to people who can answer questions and help facilitate the process of involvement by participating in a new member class.
6. Share Volunteer Opportunities
A church can help members identify their natural gifts and to use them to help further the Gospel.
Get members involved by providing volunteer opportunities that use their unique gifts. Share this information with new members.
For instance, create a page on your website that is solely focused on volunteer involvement.
This page includes information about the volunteer application process, a link to a description of volunteer opportunities, an online volunteer application, and a contact person who can answer questions.
Churches Need Member Involvement
Churches need to get members involved in serving, giving their time and financial resources to achieve their mission.
Make the process easy and systematic to help facilitate a positive transition for new members.
Keep in mind that the demands of life, and seasons of life, can influence a person’s ability to get involved.
Be sensitive to those personal demands and let God lead these new members toward identifying their place in the church!
If you are a member of SCM you can access volunteer job descriptions by logging into your account here.
If you are not a member and would like access to our growing library of church forms, documents, and job descriptions, you can learn more here.