Valuing Volunteers: they deserve it!

Bar none the best thing I’ve ever done in ministry is put volunteers around me that understand the vision, have a passion to serve others, and are willing to go the extra mile.

Having been a pastor for 11 years and having been in churches of all sizes around the world I have noticed that we don’t always do a good job of valuing our volunteers. For some reason it appears that after we get them in a place of service we for some reasons forget that they need continuing vision casting, care, love, training and support. Now I am not one for “Wednesday night teachers training”, but I am one for training and valuing of volunteers.

When we think about making a “contribution” as we do here at STS we need to make sure that we have in mind a long term care strategy for our volunteers. We can not neglect their needs.

As you enlist, train, and place volunteers in ministry areas of the church put together a simple next step strategy for their continued care and training.

Things you might consider:

1. Create a volunteer manual for the ministry with details, expectations, etc…
2. Have a brief but sufficient orientation. (one time, on the job, or over several weeks)
3. Have an introduction time for new volunteer team members. (reception)
4. Provide an on the job training arm of the ministry. (mentoring)
5. Meet weekly for the first couple of weeks with all new volunteers. (evaluation time)
6. Meet monthly with each team for planning, continued training, etc…
7. Host quarterly gatherings for volunteers and their families.
8. Put together a care strategy whereby you celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, etc…
9.  Host a church-wide volunteer appreciation night once a year.
10.  Give individual teams the resources to allow them to host their own individual parties throughout the year.

I’m sure you would expect this from me being that I’ve served as the “Fellowship” pastor in churches these past several years.  But, it is a fact.  Volunteers who play together, stay together.  The relationships that they build and you build in them is essential to their health and the health of the organization.

As you move into preparing for the Christmas season, you will begin to ask more of your volunteers so don’t forget as you as more of them, provide them with more of you.

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