It’s easy for church leaders to assume their volunteer relationships are catching the people falling through the cracks. They hope that small group leaders touch base when a couple stops coming or assume a seasoned volunteer is equipped to train new volunteers. It’s dangerous to mistake relationships for process. Even the best volunteers allow people to slip through the cracks when they don’t have a process in place to support them.
Technology is just as crucial for supporting and equipping volunteer leaders as it is for helping leaders identify potential volunteers. It is the safety net that volunteers can use to ensure no one is falling through the cracks. Here are four ways technology enables you to continue to support volunteers once they’re plugged in:
- It helps you develop a process for distributing the workload. Churches that rely on their staff to do it all rarely experience the multiplying effect of discipleship. Technology enables you to develop a process for distributing the workload between your staff, your volunteer leaders, and their teams. For example, comprehensive reports allow you to monitor overall participation. This gives you a roadmap to empower your volunteer leaders and help them distribute the workload amongst their teams.
- It equips leaders with the right tools to do their job. Supporting your volunteer leaders starts with understanding their needs. For instance, one of the most difficult aspects of volunteer management is communication. Technology enables your volunteer leaders to effectively communicate to their teams. It shows them how often people are willing to serve and sends reminder notifications so no one forgets about their responsibilities.
- It allows you to provide ongoing training. While your volunteers may not have time to devote an entire day to training, technology enables you to offer that training online. This helps you create an intentional training program that is convenient for your volunteer leaders.
- It makes volunteer leaders feel appreciated. There’s a difference between making a volunteer feel appreciated through an occasional 'thank you' and showing that you’re actually interested in their lives. Technology helps you stay connected to your leaders personally and keep tabs on everything going on in their lives. It also allows you to take their needs into consideration by offering volunteer serving preferences and gauging their comfort level with various areas of ministry.
Your church’s process for training, equipping, and supporting volunteer leaders impacts your potential for growth more than any other aspect of your ministry. Therefore, we should leverage every tool we have if we want to be good stewards of the people God has entrusted to us.
How is your church using technology to support your volunteer leaders?