How to Get Volunteers to Engage With Your Mission

    Did you know that only 13% of employees worldwide and only 33% of employees in the U.S. are engaged in their jobs?  If the percentage of engagement is that low in people's jobs, imagine how low it is with volunteers.

    Stop and think about it for a minute.  Are your volunteers truly engaged with the mission of your children's ministry?  If you want to see your volunteers really engage with the mission, here's how it can happen.

    Have a clear, simple mission.  A clear and simple mission is critical for your ministry.  It shows volunteers why you exist.  Notice I used the word "simple."  It needs to be simple (and short) so people can actually remember it.  If you're mission statement is two paragraphs long, your volunteers are not going to remember it.  When it comes to mission statements...less is more.

    Here's an example of ours.

    "We are called to impact kids and families with the love and message of Jesus Christ ...everyone... everyday...

    Invite people to a mission instead of a position.  You see, people crave purpose.  In fact, a survey was done and 83% of people say they want to know that their life matters for something.  Start with the mission when asking people to volunteer on your team. 

    Here's an example.  Instead of just inviting someone to teach 3rd grade boys, start with the mission first.  Invite someone to impact boys by giving them a Biblical foundation they can build their lives on.  The mission is the "why" and the position is the "how."  See the difference?

    When you invite people to the mission, you give them something to aspire to and they will become emotionally attached to it.  When volunteers see how their role is a vital part of the mission, they will engage and continue serving for the long haul.

    Put the mission on loop.  Over time, the natural slide with mission is disengagement...unless you are intentional about keeping the mission on the forefront.  Constantly take people back to it.  Put it in writing so they can see it.  Talk about it when you meet.  Have people repeat it often.  Mission that is not revisited today will be forgotten tomorrow.

    Tell the stories of the mission.  I've started something new for our volunteer team.  Every Monday on our volunteer team Facebook page, I post one or more stories of the impact they have made that week.  Real stories of real people they have impacted through the mission.  When people see proof that they are making a difference, they will stay engaged.

    Your turn.  The floor is yours.  What are some ways you get volunteers to engage with your mission?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.