The key to a healthy, vibrant, and growing church is its volunteers. Hiring the right staff member is important, but it is the volunteers that can take your church ministries to the next level. For this to happen the old 80/20 rule has to be put to the side and you have to reach more individuals in your church. So, the real question comes in how one goes about accomplishing this task when you have hesitant volunteers.
The average church attendee is super busy today and most people may respond with a “no” if asked to commit to add something else to add to their schedule. Your church leadership needs a strategy to promote opportunities and find that “sweet spot” of engaging your membership with the ministry needs of the church without guilting them into it.
Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to building a successful volunteer ministry:
1) Don’t force it on them. Do communicate about opportunities that they can be involved in.
2) Don’t guilt them. Do encourage them to serve using their spiritual gifts in some way.
3) Don’t preach at them. Do share what the Bible says about serving and the joy that comes from putting others first.
4) Don’t be so exclusive in your volunteer opportunities. Do have many ways that even attenders can jump in and serve right away.
5) Don’t share volunteer opportunities in just one method. Do prioritize having your leadership personally share the volunteer needs with individuals.
Remember that without volunteers your ministry is going to have a difficult time reaching its maximum potential. The pastor can surely help share the vision of how serving plays a huge part into a Christ-followers life. This direct communication from the pulpit to the church certainly helps your attenders see the needs from a spiritual perspective.
The church I attended a few years ago showed how important volunteers were in a very unique way that changed how I looked at serving completely. The church met in a gymnasium that set up and tore down each Sunday. In an effort to promote more volunteers, the set up team showed up on Saturday and put a few chairs out and left everything a mess. Everybody showed up for the worship service; the pastor preached and the people worshipped with everything not set up nice and neatly. This proved to a very valuable lesson – needless to say, there were a lot of people who signed up to serve that day.
Don’t give up on growing your volunteer base! Be persistent and pray God will lay it on people’s hearts to serve as modeled in the Bible.