How to Inspire Your Volunteers

Keeping your volunteers excited about serving is crucial if you want to keep them long-term.  
So how do you become an inspiring leader?  How do you lead in such a way that volunteers are filled with enthusiasm and want to do more for God?
Here are some practical ways you can inspire your volunteers.
1. Be inspired yourself.  You have to first be inspired yourself before you can inspire others. Inspiration is more caught than taught.  Find practical ways to fill yourself with inspiration.  Your volunteers will be as enthusiastic and inspired as you are.  Smile.  Be positive. 

2. Meet challenges head on. Don't shy away from difficulties.  Instead, be proactive and lead strong through obstacles.

3. Follow up your words with action.  Be a person who doesn't just talk the walk, but rather be someone who keeps your word and fulfills your promises. 

4. Roll up your sleeves.  Leaders who inspire don't ask people to do what they themselves aren't willing to do.  They share the load.  Don't ask your volunteers to donate an extra day, if you are not willing to be there working alongside them.

Be the change you want to inspire people to be.

5. Appeal to their emotions.  You can inspire them based on emotions like love, compassion, belonging and achievements.

6. Give them the opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves.  Everyone wants to make a difference.  Show them how they can be used of God to reach and disciple people for Jesus.  Help them focus on "why" they are doing what they are doing, instead of just what they are doing. 

7. Share the stories.  Consistently share the stories of people whose lives have been changed through volunteers serving.  People want to make a difference.   Show them how they are doing it.

8. Admit it when you blow it.  You are not perfect.  Your volunteers understand this.  But if you want to inspire, then admit your mistakes and move forward.  Don't let pride overcome you and cause you to not admit your mistakes.

9. Care for the volunteers you are leading Consistently show them that you care about them.  Seek out their opinion when making decisions.  People will buy into what you are asking them to do when they know you genuinely have their best interest at heart.