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3 Keys to Developing Church Volunteers

3 Keys to Developing Church Volunteers

While acquiring new volunteers for our ministries can occupy much of our efforts, we can't overlook what to do once we have new volunteers.

Getting people to sign up at church to serve is often our main focus when it comes to volunteers. 

We always need more people to assist in our ministry efforts, so it's natural to spend the bulk of our time on inviting. 

However, we can't overlook what to do once we have new volunteers.  If you want them to stick around for the long-term, you need to invest time in developing your volunteers.  Thankfully, that doesn't have to be a complicated or time-consuming process. 

Here are three simple keys to developing volunteers:

Key #1: Train them before they start serving

Never assume that a new volunteer will immediately understand what you need him to do.  Always provide some level of training to communicate your expectations, explain what the role entails, and who to talk with if they have questions.  Start your volunteers off right by training them to be successful in their new role.

Key #2: Discover their potential

Get to know your volunteers and discover the talents God has entrusted to them.  It makes sense to start someone out in a role with minimal responsibility to see how he performs.  Can you trust him to consistently show up on time?  Is she meeting the expectations you set out for her in that role? 

As you observe new volunteers, take the time to learn more about them:
What's her day job?  Is she a bank manager, owner of a small business, real estate agent, or CEO of a Fortune 500 company? 
What skillsets does he possess? Is he an all-around great handyman?  Does he have a knack for leading teams?  What has he or she done over the last 6-12 months of serving that stands out to you? 
Does he or she stay at home with children and keep life organized for the family?

Find out how each volunteer may want to use their skills to serve the church. 

Consider the roles you need to fill and determine which volunteers may be a great fit for each role based on what you've learned. 

Key #3: Provide growth opportunities

Volunteers who have leadership responsibilities at work or who are highly self-motivated are likely to enjoy the chance to grow in their volunteer assignment.  Maybe you have a greeter who is great at hospitality and is highly organized. 

Talk with that volunteer about leading greeters at a particular service or handling hospitality for an upcoming event.  As you promote volunteers to leadership responsibilities, you can add new volunteers to more entry-level positions.

When you invest the time needed to follow these three keys, you'll find many volunteers willing to step up.  They're seeing your commitment to get to know and to develop them. 

That makes it much easier for a volunteer to stay on the team and to say yes to more responsibilities in the future.


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