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Working with Volunteers Ages 8 – 108

Raina Hanson March 31, 2016

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In a world where technology, availability, and expectations vary so much from age group to age group, it’s important to take everyone into account when strategizing about ministry engagement.

Take some time to target groups of potential volunteers, recruit new, diverse faces, and come up with ways to keep them involved!

Teens

Young people are often one of the most untapped resources in the church, but having teen volunteers can go a long way in bringing a feeling of energy and vitality to a church. The great thing about teens is they love to travel together, so if you can get one of them to serve in your ministry, they will often recruit their friends! Just be careful you are putting them in roles appropriate for their age. Always make sure there is an adult serving with them in roles of greater responsibility so they have someone to go to with questions.

By investing in teens now, you are raising future leaders for the church and also setting an expectation of service, so they engage with the church throughout their lives. Once you do recruit them, connect with them on their level. Ministry Scheduler Pro has a free mobile app and text messaging capabilities, which are a big hit with teens!

Young Adults and Families

With the typical excuse of “we’re busy”, recruiting young adults and families can be difficult, because they are always on the move. An online scheduling system can make working with families much easier. Cater to their needs by allowing them to submit their unavailability online before you make a schedule. Put them in positions where, even if something comes up at the last minute, a replacement can be found. Ministry Scheduler Pro, for instance, has a sub request tool so they don’t have to feel guilty about being at their child’s championship soccer game. You can also set their preferences so that they only serve once a month and get plenty of time in the pews with their family.

Empty Nesters

Many times people who have been in church their whole lives think they don’t need to serve because they’ve “been there, done that.” However, it is because of all of that experience that we often need them most!

Try getting them involved more by teaming them up with someone younger – a teen or someone you are raising up as a volunteer leader – so they can share their wisdom and form relationships with the younger generation of the church. And you never know – maybe the teen they are paired with will help them learn how to use that fancy app! But if they aren’t ready for the technology side of volunteering, make sure you have a scheduling system that allows them to submit availability in person or over the phone and receive printed copies of schedules, so they don’t feel alienated!

Have any of your own tips for engaging different age groups at your church? We’d love to hear them!

This blog was written by Raina Hanson of Ministry Scheduler Pro. Previously one of their favorite clients, Raina joined the team at Rotunda Software in 2014. With degrees in theology and mathematics, she uses her background and experience helping churches free up time spent in administrative work to focus more on the other parts of ministry.

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