How to Systematically Improve Your Church’s Ministry to Volunteers

Leading volunteers is challenging. It can even seem impossible at times. And the truth is, if you’re trying to do it without a system, it will always seem impossible. The good news is that it’s possible to improve your ministry to volunteers without having to give up another night away from your family.

Here are four steps you can take to systematically improve your church’s ministry to volunteers in a way that increases engagement and multiplies the number of people willing to serve:

1.     Understand Your Existing Volunteer System

There are no universal solutions; there are only universal principles. Your system will be unique to your church because your church has different needs and resources. The first step in defining the system is determining your congregation’s status in how well you’re engaging volunteers. Once you have determined some of the needs present within your congregation, brainstorm a list of people who might be able to address them.

2. Outline Your Volunteer Engagement Strategy

After you have defined your church’s existing volunteer system, you’ll need to determine a plan for implementation and execution. Whether your church is large or small, finding a systematic way for implementing a strategy to enhance volunteer engagement will ensure your volunteers are serving in their areas of giftedness, receiving all they need to be growing, involved disciples of Jesus Christ.

3. Manage Through Online Tools

Many churches seek to implement processes without electronic tools because they fear technology will strip the heart out of the ministry. On the contrary, technology manages information and details to free you up for deeper relationships. It can help you track the status and involvement of every individual in your church. You can quickly identify those who are not serving, those who are serving in multiple positions, and those who are involved in leadership training. Online tools also allow you to communicate with individual volunteers or sub-groups. This becomes more and more important as your church grows.

4. Measure for Effectiveness

Though many people hyper-focus on data analysis, data truly is helpful in determining the effectiveness of every area of ministry, especially the development of volunteers. As attendance increases, the expectation is more people will become part of the volunteer pipeline. After implementing your new volunteer system, your church will begin to reap the benefits of a healthy culture of volunteers. Once this process is set in motion, however, you will need to consider ways to keep it in motion.

It’s time to take the guessing game out of improving the way our churches recruit, engage, and disciple volunteers. If you want to dive a little deeper into creating a systematic approach for your church’s volunteer plan and learn how to keep volunteers engaged, you can download our free eBook, “The Challenge of Leading Volunteers.”

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Steve Caton

Steve Caton

Steve Caton is part of the Leadership Team at Church Community Builder. He leverages a unique background in technology, fundraising and church leadership to help local churches decentralize their processes and equip their people to be disciple makers. Steve is a contributing author on a number of websites, including the Vision Room, ChurchTech Today, Innovate for Jesus and the popular Church Community Builder Blog. He also co-wrote the eBook “Getting Disciple Making Right”. While technology is what Steve does on a daily basis, impacting and influencing the local church is what really matters to him……as well as enjoying deep Colorado powder with his wife and two sons!

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In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
— Ken
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
— Jonathan Schultheis

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