Volunteers are a crucial part of any church or organization. Without volunteers, churches simply wouldn’t have enough staff resources to support most programs, activities, and even some administrative duties necessary to run a church. So once we recruit them, how do we motivate volunteers at church and keep them motivated?
- Pick volunteers that have a passion for the task at hand
What does this mean? Be sure if you are recruiting greeters for Sunday morning. They enjoy meeting people. The same applies to a nursery position. Someone who enjoys children will fare infinitely better than someone who has no experience with small children and may not have the patience to work with children. If you have a passion for what you’re doing, it will be more enjoyable and ensure a longer commitment.
- Get your Pastor or Priest involved in your volunteer programs
Leading by example is an excellent way to show your congregation and parishioners that you are passionate about your ministry and the programs within your ministry. It also allows your congregation to see another side of the pastor. And it offers them a way to connect on another level.
- Don’t overburden your church volunteers
One easy way to lose volunteers at your church is to overwork them. This means more efforts need to go into recruiting volunteers. Sure every church has a few people that will volunteer for everything, and you don’t want to turn them away. But others may have limited time or availability. They may feel obligated to always say, “yes.” So next time you need help, ask your volunteers to invite friends to volunteer. This leads to the next point…
- Pair up your volunteers
Almost everything is more fun with a partner or pal to help. What a great way to train new volunteers too. Pair new people with others who have volunteered before. It will make the new people feel more at ease and helps the experienced volunteer feel needed and helpful.
These are just a few ideas for motivating volunteers at your church. But the most important tip to keeping them motivated is to say “thank you.” When someone feels appreciated, they feel recognized and likely will feel that they are making a difference.
For more information on increasing the number of volunteers, there are several things you can do, but it all starts with the goal of engaging people to serve more. Download Gearing Up for Fall Volunteering now and get started!
Carol has worked in the ACST Marketing department and managed most aspects of marketing over the last 20 years. Before ACST, she spent many years handling marketing for companies across the US including, Novell, WordPerfect, Purolator Courier, ArtToday.com, and U.S.News&World Report. Carol is a cradle Catholic who has been active her entire life (a long time!) and has served in volunteer positions within her parish, including formation instructor, lector, code red responder, and numerous other volunteer roles.