Developing a thriving volunteer ministry is the best way to ensure the long-term health and vitality of your ministry. But there’s a big difference between wanting to improve your volunteer ministry and actually doing the work that’s necessary to improve it. Training and equipping volunteers effectively takes time and energy. Leading your volunteer ministry from where it is now to where you think it should be can be a challenge.
What can your church do to improve your volunteer ministry and multiply the number of people who are actively serving?
"Always be looking for ways to help move people into ministry positions that come naturally to them."
If your church wants to develop a thriving volunteer ministry, here are five things you should be doing for your volunteers on a regular basis:
1. Celebrate wins.
In order to do this, you first must define what is a 'win' for your team. What does success look like? From there, you should regularly recognize and celebrate those wins. Your should be a place for you to not only manage volunteers, but encourage and celebrate them.
2. Lead them towards finding their groove in ministry.
When you use technology to help volunteers align their natural giftedness with an area of service, you create the ultimate win-win. Don’t just look to fill volunteer positions. Always be looking for ways to help move people into ministry positions that come naturally to them.
3. Equip them to do their jobs, then get out of the way.
You need to set your volunteers up for success. Give them the tools they need to fulfill their roles. This is where technology really comes in handy. Once you equip them, get out of their way. Micromanaging your volunteers won’t help them grow, develop, or multiply. They might not know exactly what they’re doing at all times, but part of growing as a disciple is learning how to make disciples, and learning how to do that better and better as you go along.
4. Challenge them to take it to the next level.
The volunteers serving in your ministry are your disciples. When you realize this, "Training and equipping volunteers effectively takes time and energy." you start looking for ways to continually help them grow. Despite what you may think, challenging volunteers to go deeper will significantly increase volunteer leader retention in ministry and give you the single most important advantage in advancing the Kingdom — longevity.
5. Cast vision for your ministry and emphasize why their role is crucial.
Volunteers who feel like they’re part of a movement to reach your community with the Gospel are far more likely to take on new roles and invite others to join. Always look for ways to tie the work your volunteers are doing to the vision you have for making an eternal impact in your community.
These five steps are critical if you want to move your volunteers from the mindset of simply filling a volunteer role to actually being the ministry of the church. Volunteers who have been given the tools to succeed are the glue that holds the Body together. Your volunteers are much less likely to fall through the cracks when a well-equipped strategy is in place.
Does your church regularly do these five things for your volunteers? What are some other ways you can increase volunteer engagement and improve the overall health of your ministry?
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