Developing a healthy culture of volunteerism requires more than just vision. Although vision is a start. People want to know that the effort they will put into serving matters. But next-level leadership requires churches to have a volunteer system that digs deeper. The top reasons why church volunteers quit is due to overall disorganization.
Many churches don’t have an organized way of knowing who their volunteers are, where they’re serving, or how they’ll communicate with them. Do you really wonder why volunteers quit?
When staff know who is serving, where, and how effectively, they’ll better manage volunteers in an effective and scalable way.
To remedy the age-old dilemma of why church volunteers quit, you’ll need to put these 4 things into place:
Understand your volunteers better:
Match people with roles they are suited for instead of fitting people where you have the greatest need. Your church needs a way to discern the gifting – the skills and interests – of your people so you can ask them to serve where they’ll thrive, not just where they’ll fill in. Knowing your people’s skills and interests provides awareness of each individual’s spiritual gifts and how they can best serve the church. With that knowledge, staff can note specific skills or interests for each person to ask them where to serve.
Organize them into effective groups and teams:
Different teams have different things they need to know and be aware of. Other roles have varying responsibilities, training requirements, and desired outcomes. Treating all of your volunteers the same leads to ineffective serving and frustrated team members. Every volunteer system must define the teams and roles they need. Those definitions need to include answers to questions such as these to help reduce church volunteer burnout:
- When, where, and how does this team serve?
- What is this team responsible for?
- What are the desired outcomes for this role?
- What does it mean to be part of this team?
- How many will it take to accomplish this?
- What special skills or talents are needed for this role?
- What does success look like for this role?
Ensure everyone is serving when and where they should:
Getting ahead of the curve by knowing your people’s serving preferences and defining the role requirements will go a long way in creating a solid schedule. Take heart. Scheduling involves a bit of a back-and-forth dialogue. You schedule your volunteers, and some let you know they can’t serve at the requested time or in the role you’ve requested, so you adjust and repeat. This additional communication with the people you’ve requested to serve will help you identify areas where you need to make adjustments. The earlier and more directly you communicate, the less likely you will find yourself on a Sunday morning with a no-show on your roster.
Communicate well about serving in your church:
Church communication is one of the hardest things to do effectively. The reason is because you have multiple audiences who only tune in to things that matter to them. With the right mobile app – tied to your church software – your church will be able to communicate to individuals with targeted communication based on the volunteer groups and ministries they are involved in. And, you don’t have to wait for them to check their email. Notifications, messages, and reminders will all go straight to their mobile device in real time. With group communication, profile information, and calendars on mobile devices, your teams will have the tools they need to move ministry forward.
However, without a robust online volunteer management system, you’ll never be able to fully support your volunteers or the life and operations of your church. There is too much nuance and too many considerations to try and map everything out on a task manager, spreadsheet, or document. A sound ChMS will enable you to manage volunteers – their history, their skills and interests, their preferences – and create schedules that fill the defined roles and teams you have established.
For church leaders, volunteers are an indispensable element of expanding ministry and operating the organization. Volunteers enable churches to operate, grow, and thrive. Most churches need 5 to 10 times the volunteers as they have staff. Think about that. This reality makes the need to recruit, manage, and empower volunteers a key initiative in any successful ministry.
Having difficulty getting your volunteers back in the game?
Now is the time to get your people back in the game, thriving in fulfillment as they pursue their God-given purpose through your church. In this guide, you’ll discover how to:
- Energize volunteers for the roles at your church
- Define and cast vision for roles and teams
- Recruit and schedule the right people for the positions
- Ensure the safety and health of your teams
- Empower staff and leaders to manage teams
As Vice President of Sales and Business Development, Thomas is responsible for the company’s overall sales production through multiple sales channels. Born and raised in Florence, S.C., Thomas has over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing leadership. He holds a degree in business and is currently pursuing an Organizational Leadership degree. He loves seeing people move outside their comfort zone and exceed their goals. In addition to his work at ACS Technologies, he volunteers with several organizations, including a local ministry in Florence.