Volunteers, a need every church must fulfill.
A role so vital and, if not properly managed, can cause the church to suffer. To grow a healthy church, the culture of volunteerism and service must be a point of focus. Every church leader knows how tough it can be to run a church. There are tasks to complete, the time needed to achieve them, and the human resources required to carry them out. This can intimidate even the most hard-working pastor, which is why volunteers are so critical. Managing volunteers is not just a way to grow the church but also an avenue to connect with the church congregation.
While volunteering is essential, managing volunteers will determine how effective they will be to the church. Like all human resources, managing volunteers requires a strategic approach for effective management. Failure to achieve this may cause a considerable step back to the church. Doing it the right way, on the other hand, can be a resourceful way to take a substantial load off the shoulders of church leaders.
Volunteer management can be an overwhelming undertaking. Smart planning, creative recruitment, continuous engagement, and proper coordination are effective strategies that will yield productive results. So, how can you carry out these functions expertly and also make your volunteers happy? Here are some tips.
- Encourage members to volunteer. Explain to your members why volunteering is an excellent thing to do. Show them how serving the needs of the church will be of benefit to all.
- Network. Networking is vital during volunteer recruitment. It will help you identify and retain volunteers for your weekly and monthly activities. The more people you can pique their interest, the easier it will be to fill your volunteer spots. Do not be shy. Move around and interact with members.
- Make a list. List out the specific skills and talents that will be of benefit to the church. Having a predetermined list of skills needed by the church can help quicken the recruitment process.
- Person to person recruitment. Approach members with the needed talents and skills personally. It may give the person a feeling of importance and, therefore, open to recruitment—most people like to be asked to carry out specific tasks and are more likely to say yes.
- Collect volunteer data. During recruitment, church leaders must ensure they collect volunteer data such as skills, educational background, interests, and hobbies. Doing this will make assignment of duties easily tailored to what each volunteer is passionate about or comfortable working on. It will also increase unity and productivity in the group.
- Make prior arrangements. Plan all activities and tasks ahead of time. Think about all the volunteer tasks so you can comfortably state the needs to be met and decide how to make the best use of volunteers’ time.
- Make tasks simpler. Break down any time-consuming task. You can achieve this with the use of church management software with volunteers’ management features. An example is ChurchPad. With this tool, you can conveniently coordinate and manage your volunteers.
- Let your volunteers choose. Advise your volunteers to select tasks based on their skill sets or talents. If the job they are most skilled at is already assigned, encourage them to sign up and try something new. Who knows, they may find something else that could interest them. Continue to create activities that will keep them productive.
- Match volunteers to skills. One of the biggest mistakes a volunteer manager can make is to match volunteers to a task they do not possess skills required for it. Doing this will reduce productivity and idleness. Recognize each volunteer’s skill set and match them to activities that require said skills. It will keep them happy, engaged, and productive.
- Make contingency plans. Be realistic and make plans against unforeseen events. Recruit extra volunteers for a time when one is ill or unavailable. Fill in for absent volunteers using the extras.
- Organize fun activities. Make volunteering fun. Organize competitions and give out awards to winners. Organize cookouts, barbeques, and other outdoor events to keep morale high.
- Communicate. Communication has been made easy by the ChurchPad volunteer management feature. With this feature, you can easily communicate your schedules, functions, and events via text, SMS. MMS, Voice, etc., provide information about upcoming events, interact, and follow-up with volunteers. Communication will ensure accountability and save time.
- Check-in. Support your volunteers. Check up on them to see that they are performing their tasks correctly. Speak words of encouragement and pray for them always.
- Be appreciative. Never forget to thank your volunteers. Sincerely compliment them and do not hesitate to let them know how important and valuable they are to the church.
- Remember their names. Everyone feels special when a leader calls them by name. By doing this, you will make the volunteers feel valued and have a sense of belonging. It will encourage them to sign up again when needed.
- Stay connected. Managers should be easily accessible to the volunteers. Let the volunteers know you are available in case they want to present questions, recommendations, and findings. Your door must remain open to them.
- Feedback. Let your volunteers know the result of their efforts. Inform them of all their successes and let them the impact of their works. Providing feedback will keep them coming back.
Volunteering is a great way to show appreciation for all the good things in our lives. It is a way of giving back. A poorly managed volunteering system can dampen the joy that volunteering can bring. With a church management system, you can save time, effectively coordinate and manage volunteers, connect and communicate efficiently, and save time.
Managing volunteers the right way means managing volunteers in such a way that both parties come out happy and fulfilled.
Human nature is fallible, human memories are unreliable, but a good church management software such as Churchpad will never fail you.