I recently heard Tim Stevens of Granger Community Church discuss the importance of volunteers at the Texas Ministry Conference. His comments resonated deeply with me as someone who has passionately served in many volunteer roles for my church and favorite community service organizations. Volunteers are perhaps the single greatest asset of any community of faith. Healthy churches empower individuals to be actively engaged in ministry rather than passively participating in events. But how do you go about growing your volunteer base?
What’s amazing to me is how little time in seminary (a 90 hour degree program that is equivalent in length to a law degree) is spent training pastors about volunteer management when that is one of the greatest skill sets needed for local church ministry.
I believe there are seven things every pastor should know about recruiting volunteers:
- You must have a strategy for volunteers in your church.
- Stop asking people to serve out of obligation, even guilt.
- Don't use the term "recruit." That is for companies and college football teams.
- Target people based on their personal gifts and interests.
- Understand that people serve for two primary reasons: 1) They seek to make a difference and 2) They seek to connect with people.
- Use that knowledge to ATTRACT people to service.
- Empower staff and leaders to "shoulder tap" - inviting people through relationship, not mass appeals.
What else would you include in this list? More importantly, are you maximizing the volunteer potential of your membership?