5 Hidden Axioms of Volunteer Management in Your Church

Effective church leaders are excellent volunteer managers. Managing your volunteer teams within your church is a nuanced and mysterious journey … It’s not always obvious what it takes to lead them well!  Here are 5 truths that I’ve found that weren’t obvious when I first start leading in church!

  • Volunteers are Donors // In a very real way volunteers are paying us to create a positive service environment for them. Treat volunteers well because they are the ones paying your salary!
  • Strategize for Friendship // We need volunteers to do tasks to make church happen however volunteers want to build relationships with other people. We are responsible for creating a service environment where friendship blossoms.
  • More Opportunities = More Volunteers // Effective church leaders find ways to create more “spaces” for volunteers. Rather than a scarcity mindset that focuses on not having enough people to fill roles … our job is to create more spots for people to serve.
  • Release Earlier // Give away the leadership of your volunteers to other volunteers as quickly as possible. Become a leader who leads leaders.
  • Think Outside the Weekend // There are tasks and activities that you could be leveraging volunteers throughout the week that would accelerate your ability to serve people. Pull volunteers into operation of what you do during the week!

What have you learned about managing volunteers over the years that wasn’t obvious when you started leading in a local church?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
If you are afraid of people , how do you come out of the house? Church is a place where friendliness and kindness starts. When you attend any place only once, you don't get the full benefit Church hopping , attending a different church every Sunday ? You don't get to know people. I think that commitment is the problem.
 
— Phylissis Ransom
 
We drive 20 miles and pass by numerous churches on the way to our church. It isn't perfect, but at least it is very intentional about making guests feel safe, comfortable, and welcome. We do have a brief 'greeting time' that quickly leads into a worship music set. Rather than just saying "Stand and greet the people around you" the host puts people at ease by making it a bit more fun. (and less intimidating) They may reference a personal memory or non-controversial topic and say something like; "Tell your neighbor who your favorite cartoon character is." or "Tell someone what was your best-ever bowling score." The music begins before anyone has time to be uncomfortable or tell their life story. Works well for us.
 
— Sara Tonin
 
My neighbor was a pastor, and now his son is. When they see me passing by, they either stare or look the other way. The ex pastors wife only speaks to me when I come into where she works. She takes care of the dining room, so it is her job to speak to others about drink refills, etc. She also asks me questions about things that are none of her business, since she ignores me the rest of the time. I bet if I did show up at their Church, I would not to welcome. I wouldn't go for that reason. This Church is walking distance from my house, but I would go 10 miles away to Church, before I would go to theirs.
 
— Karen
 

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