Training Volunteers For the Long Term


In Chris Mavity’s ebook, ‘Your Volunteers: Recruit,’ we learned that to better enable, empower, and equip church leaders, we must enable, empower, and equip our greatest ministry asset – our people.

Our volunteers are the boots-on-the-ground that make ministry possible because without them, ideas and objectives would be left to wither on the vine of imagination. Volunteers take our loftiest hopes and aspirations and breathe reality into them.

So once you have recruited a volunteer – moving them from a come-and-see to a come-and-serve mindset – you’ll need to train them.

In his follow-up ebook, ‘Your Volunteers: Train,’ Chris Mavity talks about volunteer training. There are two types of training – and each allows you to communicate expectations, prepare volunteers for service, and impart wisdom.

Orientation training helps your volunteers understand the role, responsibilities, and expected outcomes of the assignment. The objective in developing good orientation training is to give your volunteers the minimum guidance, information, and instruction necessary to complete the assignment well, all while helping your volunteers gain confidence.

Ongoing training is focused on life-skills development – helping your volunteers become a better version of themselves. This type of ongoing training communicates you care about them as people – not just in a ministry capacity – and that you will pour into them to make them better in all aspects of their lives.

As Mavity explains it, “Churches have more people than money, space, or staff. That means to be effective we must have a good game plan in place for helping those who come and see to become people who come and serve.

“What would happen if we began to see the people in our church as our greatest asset? What if our approach to training volunteers was as intentional and integral as training players on a sports team or growing leaders for business?

“When we as church leaders shift our mindset and see our volunteers as true disciples and adjust our practices to reflect that importance accordingly, the trajectory of our ministry makes an immediate upward tilt. It takes that type of mindset to develop a thriving group of volunteers who serve with passion and love what they do and who they do it for.

“What results is the foundation of a thriving volunteers ministry.”



So before we begin our series about our greatest ministry asset – our volunteers – and delve deeper into Chris Mavity’s training ebook this month, here are five articles you may have missed that address not only the importance of training, but also offer ideas and solutions for developing and establishing healthy volunteer training that will lead to healthy ministry.


An In-Depth Look at Volunteer Training in the Twenty-First Century:

“Training volunteers is an integral component of making an impact on our communities and spreading the Gospel. However, that doesn’t mean it is an easy task by any means. Volunteer schedule conflicts and the limited amount of time you have to devote to training and equipping volunteers are just two of the challenges that make it difficult for church leaders.

“What if we rethink our approach to volunteer training? What if we let volunteers walk through training at their own pace, on their own time, from the comfort of home?”


What Churches Can Learn From Hotels About Volunteers:

“Sometimes volunteers show up once or twice and never show up again. We’ll call them the ‘quick exiters.’ They come in, take a few turns around, and exit out the other side without committing to long-term service. Other volunteers enter and stay in the rotation, going around and around. Because they never fully catch the vision for steady service, they spin about until they are dizzy and get burned out. We can call those volunteers ‘the go-rounders.’ Either way, churches have voids in their volunteer crew and must recruit and train new ones.”


8 Tips for Training Your Volunteers:

“Volunteers are the backbone of your ministry. Many times they are underappreciated, overworked, and easily forgotten. They work regular jobs, have families of their own, get stretched thin and most of the time still do all they can to attend everything that is going on. “Here are a few things that might help you help them be successful in ministry.”


10 Training Ideas:

“‘To train … or not to train?’ is often the question that churches ask about their leaders. Parents say ‘We want trained leaders!’ Teachers say, ‘We’re busy. We don’t have time for long training sessions!’ So … what are 10 ‘easy’ ideas/options when it comes to training your kids’ ministry leaders?”


Your Volunteers: Train (free ebook download):

“Once you have recruited someone – moving them from a come-and-see to a come-and-serve mindset – you’ll need to train them to serve in their newfound ministry role. Although some leaders may assume that training is a list of dos and don’ts, I see training as the key to influencing future behavior. Training allows you to communicate expectations, prepare volunteers for service, and impart wisdom and know-how. Training is truly more important than many of us realize.”


A passion for training volunteers will serve you well and a commitment to ongoing training means that you’ll get better – and so will your volunteers.


Training puts your ideas and ideals at the forefront, setting your volunteers up for ministry success.

What next?

Subscribe to our blog and stay tuned as we take a deeper dive into training volunteers all through out the month of June. In addition, download your free copy of Chris Mavity's second ebook our Volunteer Engagement Series: "Your Volunteers: Train"


Topics: This entry was posted in Volunteer Ministry, This entry was posted in Volunteers

Posted by Church Community Builder on June 07, 2017