3 Tips About Volunteers You Can't Afford To Miss

Leading volunteers is one of the most important things you do as a leader in ministry.

Without a solid group of volunteers, a ministry is not going anywhere.

I say it often, the success of your ministry rises and falls on the strength of the volunteer team you build. 

The good news...leading volunteers is a skill that can be learned and developed. 

Let's talk about 3 tips for leading volunteers well. 

Bring volunteers on the team well.  It's critical to have a clear process for bringing volunteers on the team.  It sets the tone for the time they will spend serving.  Here is an example of an effective process for this. 

Step 1 - Gather the person's key information - name, phone number, email, etc.  Have them fill out an application to serve (at this link is a free sample application).

Step 2 - Set up an interview with the person (at this link are the questions to ask for this interview).

Step 3 - If the interview goes well, run a background check on the person and call their references. 

Step 4 - If the background check is green, invite them to an orientation. 

Step 5 - Host a volunteer orientation to cast vision and share the big picture strategy for reaching and discipling children.

Step 6 - Help them find the place where they want to serve.  This should line up with their passion, skill set, personality, etc. 

Step 7 - Hands on training with a veteran volunteer. 

Build relationships with volunteers.  How long they serve is in direct correlation to the depth of the relationships they build with the people they are serving with.  Take time to get to know the people on your team.  Spend time with them outside of serving.  Remember, your role is to use the ministry to build people rather than using people to build the ministry.  

Encourage teamwork.  When you meet with your volunteers, do some ice breakers so they can get to know each other better.

Bless volunteers by honoring them.  Encourage them.  Say "thank you" often.  Recognize them on their birthday,  Honor them on their serving anniversaries.  On occasion, give them a small gift.  Brag on them to other people.  Have the kids honor them by making "thank you" cards.  

Do these 3 things well and you will see your volunteers flourish.

Do you have my book "The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams?It's available at this link.