29 Dec 5 Ways to Encourage Volunteer Work at Church
Volunteering is like anything else in life, sometimes you need to convince those who need convincing. Volunteering at a church is not for everyone. You cannot expect everyone to be a saint all the time. Sometimes you have to lead the horse to water to get them to drink. How? Follow me below as I talk you through some pointers.
1) You need to show your excitement. Are you excited about the project you are working on? You cannot expect others to be excited when you could care less. Present the bigger picture. Explain the benefits to those who are volunteering. THose who do not know the benefits will not be so quick to join. “You will find volunteers when you show the vision the church is looking for and after you earn their trust. They will not join in just because you need to fill spots”.
2) They need to know that they will make a difference. You also need to be open to their ideas and let them present them. People are not going to join in when you rule with an iron fist. You cannot have the mindset of “my way or the highway”.
You should welcome their ideas and feedback openly. You asked them to join you for a reason. People are not going to volunteer their time when their input is not feeling valued.
3) You should treat them as professionals and equal to you. Is your church paying its current staff and administration? Volunteers need to be treated the same way. People are less likely to join a team of disgruntled and miserable workers and more likely to join a team that is having fun. Recognize their efforts and thank them for their time. One way to show how much you appreciate your volunteers is having snacks. Provide a snack and juice bar. People say yes more often when there is food.
4) Create some fun activities for the group to do. Your volunteers do not want to join something that feels like work. The projects you choose to do should be exciting and fresh, not boring and mundane. Your volunteers will hang around a lot longer when you make it fun and exciting. Add in a game you can play after the work is completed. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and make some new friends.
5) Volunteering is not a life sentence. One reason why a lot of people do not volunteer is that it feels like a deathtrap. They are volunteers, not prisoners. You cannot lock the door behind them and not allow them to leave. They have a life, just as you do. Consider their schedule as well as yours.
Try a “first serve” option on them, where they try something out to see if they like it. They can choose to stay on the project or try something else. You need to make it as “low pressure” as possible. Low pressure equals more fun.
6) You should make it as easy as possible. Volunteers should not have to jump through hoops to get something done. This is church volunteer work, not the military or some paid office job. Post a list of projects the church is working on. Let them know the details of what you are doing. They should know that anyone can apply and it is all in good fun. Some churches are desperate for the volunteers but do not let that be an excuse to pressure the person into signing up. Let them come to you and sign up willingly.
7) Go out and talk to people. You will not get anywhere standing out front or petitioning them. Go talk to people and see what they say. You should not be discriminatory about the process either. Talk to everyone because you never know who you will get to join your volunteer projects. Sometimes the least-likely person ends up being the one you can count on the most.