Creating Volunteer Health in your Church

If there is one common denominator among churches, it is the importance of volunteers. Both small and large churches have to be intentional when it comes to creating a healthy volunteer base. When we think of volunteer health, we probably envision a church where people are standing in line to serve; and once they commit, they actually show up. I have yet to see a church with a long line of people waiting to serve, but I have seen churches do it well. Here are three things I have observed in churches where volunteerism was healthy:

Finding Volunteers 

Most churches who have healthy volunteerism understand people are more likely to serve when they are found (and asked) by people they personally know. Creating a strategy for active volunteers to invite their friends and family to join them produces much better results than an announcement and a sign up sheet.
Firing Volunteers 

Seldom do people ever think about firing a volunteer, I mean, they’re hard enough to find as it is, right? Believe it or not, knowing when to fire a volunteer is just as important as finding them. Churches that have a healthy serving base also have a healthy volunteer policy. Tolerating continuous tardiness, no-shows and other bad behaviors will cause poor attitudes to spread to the entire team. When churches set specific standards to serve, they are more likely to attract people who have the same standards. Accountability brings productivity. 
Facetime with Volunteers 

Churches must rely on volunteers to get ministry done; I believe the apostle Paul speaks to this is 1 Corinthians 12. While we can’t (and shouldn’t) write a check to every person who serves, as leaders we should invest in the people who serve. Volunteer health soars when church leadership is intentional about giving volunteers some face time. This doesn’t mean the pastor has to spend time with every single person who serves, but he can schedule four or five “all-team” meetings per year to celebrate the wins, cast vision and encourage the people. That’s an investment that will bring a return. 


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