The Ultimate Guide to Having Happy, Committed Volunteers

We know that spiritually healthy, engaged volunteers are essential for building a great children's ministry.  

But how do you ensure that your volunteers are spiritually healthy and thriving in their roles?

Let's look at some important steps you need to take if you are going to have happy and committed volunteers

Make sure every volunteer is on-boarded with excellence.  How you bring them on the team speaks volumes.  Don't just shove them in a room with 30 preschoolers.  Instead, set them up for success by properly training them.

Help each volunteer find their sweet spot.  If you want your volunteers to be happy, place them where they are gifted and passionate about.  Do this and you will see them thrive.

Remember...don't place volunteers where you need them.  Rather, place them where they need to be. Where they need to be is in a role that lines up with their passion and spiritual gifts.

Cultivate a culture of relationships.  The amount of time that a volunteer will serve is closely tied to the relationships they build with the people they serve with. If it feels like family, they will usually stay long-term.

Equip each volunteer with a specific job description that details his or her role and responsibility.   Don't expect people to do something you haven't explained to them. 

Do your volunteers know what success looks like in their role? Create 3-4 wins for each area and help volunteers know what the "wins" are.  This will help them understand what the goals are for each person.                     

Provide them with solid training and growth opportunities on a regular basis.  Our goal should not be to use people to build the ministry.  Rather, it should be about using the ministry to build people.

Encourage them on a regular basis.  Every single time they serve they should hear the words "thank you for serving and making a difference."

Make sure they are attending the adult service each week. This will help them serve from the overflow and continue to personally grow as a Christ-follower.

Invest in them.  Share some great podcasts with them. Share the websites that God uses to help you grow as a leader and follower of Jesus.  Take them to a children's ministry conference.  Give your time, energy and resources to help them continue to grow as a children's ministry leader.

One of the best examples I have seen of this is a preschool director at a church where I was the children's pastor.  Every time I visited her hallway, all of the rooms were filled with volunteers and some even had extra volunteers that were available.  The volunteers that served with this lady were happy and committed.

I asked what her secret was.  How was she attracting so many volunteers and seeing them serve long-term with her?  

She looked at me and paused.  She then said, "I don't have volunteers.  I have friends."

It all made sense to me when I heard her say this. Her volunteers were happy and committed because she built relations with them and cared for them. She was happy and committed and it flowed into her team as well.

That's the ultimate guide to having happy, committed volunteers.