Whether you’re a pastor, a church staff member, or simply a member of your local church congregation, you likely know just how important Sunday service volunteers are.
From the greeters to the sound technicians to the security team, your church depends on the generosity of talented volunteers to keep the church running smoothly.
That’s why, today, we’re sharing how to find, recruit, train, and equip wonderful church volunteers you’ll be thrilled to have serving your church for years to come.
How to Get More Volunteers at Church
While you certainly can find church volunteers simply by making an announcement during Sunday morning announcements or by sending an email to your church email list, you’ll likely have greater success by sharing your church vision and by inviting people individually.
- Share Impactful Stories
One of the most effective ways to get more Sunday service volunteers at church is to consistently share stories about how your current church leaders are serving and the impact they’re making.
This is a long-term strategy that can take time, but it creates a church culture where people genuinely want to be a part of what your church is already doing (rather than simply signing up to volunteer out of a sense of guilt or obligation).
Aim to follow the 80/20 rule: Share stories 80% of the time, and directly invite people to sign up 20% of the time. This way, you’ll always be recruiting without even asking.
- Invite Individuals Directly
Of course, there will be times when you need church volunteers right away, and the long game won’t help meet a pressing need. In these instances, it’s best to talk to individual church members directly, to see if and how they may be interested in helping out.
Do you know someone who would make the perfect youth group leader, bake sale coordinator, or prayer team leader? Reach out!
Additionally, many of your church members likely have talents, skills, and abilities that would greatly bless your church… if you knew they existed.
Rather than simply aiming to fill a specific predetermined role, it can also be helpful to ask what additional skills your congregation would love to use if a new opportunity were available.
How to Train and Empower Your Sunday Service Volunteers
When your church is hurting for additional Sunday volunteers, it can be tempting to quickly place any warm body into whatever spots you currently have available. After all, you need help!
However, if you follow these four best practices for training and empowering your Sunday volunteers, you’ll increase your chances of having happier, more effective volunteers who stick around for years to come.
- Recruit Leaders
Well-known pastor and bestselling author Craig Groeschel shares this church volunteer advice:
“We don’t recruit volunteers; we release leaders, because volunteers do good things, but leaders change the world.”
Look for volunteers who will not only fill a role, but who truly care about stepping up, taking ownership, and doing their best on a consistent basis. These leaders don’t have to be outgoing or charismatic–simply people who care enough to go above and beyond to do their role well.
- Don’t Micromanage
Once you’ve found church volunteers with leadership potential, it’s crucial that you don’t micromanage them. If you micromanage your high-capacity volunteers, they will leave.
Rather than telling your volunteers, “Here’s your job. Do it exactly as I tell you, and run everything by me first,” you’ll want to give your church volunteers room to grow and flourish. You want leaders who are go-getters, who think for themselves, and who show initiative.
While there will likely be an initial training period, once you’ve found leaders you can trust, you want to empower them to do their roles well–without you constantly second guessing their every decision.
- Be Organized
If you have someone who is helping volunteers get set up for the worship team, the security team, children’s church, or any other role, it’s important that this individual is organized.
It’s incredibly frustrating for Sunday service volunteers to prepare, only to find out after the fact that details or schedules have changed. While some changes are unavoidable, you’ll want to communicate any changes as quickly as possible. It’s always better to slightly over-communicate than under-communicate.
Show Your Church Volunteers Plenty of Appreciation!
While hosting a yearly volunteer appreciation dinner can be a nice way to thank your Sunday service volunteers, you won’t want to stop there. Instead, look for simple ways to show your gratitude all year long.
For example, you might send a text, write a note, or share your appreciation from the main stage on a Sunday morning. You might bring in donuts and coffee (either regularly or as a fun surprise), or give your volunteers small gifts or gift cards.
Once you find amazing church volunteers, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep them, and a little appreciation often goes a long way!