In many ways, volunteers are the fuel that runs your church.
Without the help of many volunteers, your church would not be able to function fully.
Not only do you need volunteers to get stuff done, but volunteering is a way members of your church can fulfill their calling and a way for you to help disciple the members of your church.
From your church’s inception, you will need volunteers. Here are six ways you can increase the number of volunteers in your church.
#1. Teach people about serving
If you have placed your faith in Christ, then you are a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). As a member of the body of Christ, you are needed as a part of his body.
As a church leader, it’s important to teach the people of your church about the importance of the church and their role within the church.
Often, church members may not feel needed. Therefore, they are apprehensive about volunteering because they don’t see a need.
By teaching your people about the church (what is called ecclesiology), you will help the people of your church to be compelled to volunteer as they come to understand better their calling and how they can be of service to Jesus in his church.
#2. Overcome obstacles
Apart from not feeling needed, there are several reasons why members of your church do not volunteer. Here are some common reasons:
- Lack of time
- Feeling of inadequacy
Keep these obstacles in mind when you recognize a volunteer (see below) or ask for people to consider volunteering. Removing these barriers will make it easier for people to take a step toward volunteering.
#3. Begin with the end in mind
How long does someone need to volunteer as a greeter? What about a nursery worker? How long does someone need to commit to your music ministry?
Encouraging people to make an open-ended volunteer commitment is an excellent way to discourage them from ever signing up. Instead, for whatever volunteer position you are recruiting for, consider asking them to volunteer for a particular time, such as 3, 6, 9, or 12 months.
After their commitment is complete, then they can reconsider signing up afterward.
#4. Recognize volunteers
Regularly recognize volunteers in your church. Acknowledging the time and sacrifice people make goes a long way in encouraging them to continue volunteering.
Here are several ways you can recognize volunteers:
- On social media
- From the pulpit
- In your bulletin
- With a handwritten note
- Host a banquet
- Call or email them
Regardless of how you recognize volunteers, it’s important that you do.
#5. Invite volunteers
Have you ever personally invited someone to volunteer? If not, then many people are willing to volunteer if you just ask them.
#6. Connect volunteering to Jesus’ mission
From greeters and teachers to people who brew coffee and clean bathrooms, Jesus is at work in building his church (Matt. 16:18). Help the people of your church connect their call to Jesus’ work in and through your church.
How do you encourage volunteer engagement? Share what you’ve learned in the comments below!