Volunteer recruiting should be a full time sales pitch, because serving should be a main focus of the church.
Volunteering isn’t a job; it’s an opportunity. It opens the door to fun, friends, health, and making the world a better place.
Develop a Handout (Benefits of Volunteering)
- Get to know people / socialize / feel connected
- Better health, better moods. Feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically (polls and studies show).
- May lower blood pressure
- May reduce stress
- Some people think physicians should recommend volunteering.
- Make a meaningful difference (you’ll be filling a real need).
- Develop skills (that carry over to careers)
- Volunteer work looks nice on a resume.
- “What is the essence of life? To serve others and do good.” – Aristotle (Greek philosopher)
- Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4: 10)
- Can sign up as a trial volunteer.
- No long term commitment necessary.
- If you love it, stay on with the team. If you want to try a different area to serve instead, do NOT feel guilty.
Akin to a photo-board you may see at a coffee shop, have a volunteer of the month and a photo of a person in each ministry.
- This would not only be so they feel recognized, but so that potential volunteers know they’ll be appreciated.
- It could also give motivation for volunteers to be extra diligent.
- Would showcase all of the different teams that people could volunteer with.
- Seeing pictures with a name would help people not as familiar with the church get to know some of the people that help the church to reach the community. And maybe it would help them envision themselves in one of those pictures.
It doesn’t have to be a photo-board, but do something that will show that the church really values the effort that volunteers put in. Not everyone needs a pat on the back, not everyone is even good at accepting gratitude, but for some people, even a little gesture may mean a whole lot.
This may just require that the head pastor goes around the church giving handshakes to everyone. Think about it, talk with colleagues, and brain-storm some ideas.
- How often are the church kids (of all ages) introduced to the concept of volunteering?
- Have the children’s pastor (or someone) take a couple kids every week to help clean the coffee station, or hold baskets to collect things and say goodbye to people with the ushers (some type of appropriate duty).
- Have teen / college pastors preach it (repeatedly) and point towards opportunities that fit kids’ skill sets and personalities.
- I’d have a board hanging on a wall at the church. A big one. And a list of opportunities with specifics—perhaps a section of one-time needs (sick person needs snow shoveled) and one for ongoing (usher at 10am service). Not just saying “usher duty,” but saying, “Usher Duty: from 10-12, smile, greet people, hand out programs, seat people, help with collections…”).
- One of the first buttons on the website should be named “Volunteer.”
- I would suggest that the current “Serving” page be more detailed, and be a primary button rather than a drop-down. It should be as easy to find volunteer opportunities as it is to donate money.
- It would help website SEO (search engine optimization), and it would clarify for readers if that page were maintained with something like the “Volunteer Board.” Would take about two minutes of time to set up the format.
- Whoever is in charge of your content management system (CMS) should be familiar with getting all of your pages SEO green-lit.
- I am familiar with your CMS if you need pointers on the SEO, or html code for your “Serving / Volunteer” page.
Evaluate all ministry programs. How resource (labor) intensive are they? Do they still all provide expected benefits?
- Too many programs, and too many volunteer hours used, without valuable return can lead to volunteer burnout. There will either be less volunteers, or less perky ones, which will lead to a lower-quality visitor experience.
- If not enough people are volunteering, are there too many Bible classes or other church activities that are taking up all of their time? I could list a myriad of Bible verses that tell people to serve. But sometimes, rather than reading, people need to be doing.
Don’t misunderstand. A person still can get plenty of Bible reading in if they traded in some Bible study groups for volunteering. But by volunteering, they are bringing the Bible to life—and that can inspire even more people to serve.
Summary / Notes
- With a big volunteer board with specific job openings, and a big volunteer of the month board in the lobby (or maybe a volunteer board in the hall by the kids, one in the lobby, and one in the hall by the teens) it will start being subliminal.
- With messages from pastors, from growth groups, maybe a placement in every program the church hands out, the idea of volunteering will be a repetitive (sinks in) theme. But it is a theme that is so fundamental for Christians.
These Volunteer Ideas
This write-up was put together for a particular church. It’s posted here because it may be helpful, and spark ideas for others.
Your ideas about volunteer recruiting are welcomed!
I read a lot of websites. One of them had the above Aristotle quote. I can’t pinpoint which site that was, or else I would provide a link to them. I do want to credit resources when credit is due.