5 ways to help volunteers stay committed in the New Year
Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Your church likely depended heavily on a larger volunteer team over the Christmas season. Hopefully, volunteers had a great experience and have had a chance to recoup after all the activity.
Here are five ways to help them reflect on the impact their service had and continue to stay committed to serving throughout the New Year.
1. Tell them how they've impacted others
Share stories of first-time guests who have commented on how welcomed they felt when they visited your church. Gather stats on the number of guests at Christmas services, baptisms last year, new members, meals or clothing distributed and families helped.
Share that information with your volunteers. Remind them that they're part of making those efforts happen even if they weren't directly involved in every ministry.
2. Keep the vision in front of them
It's easy to get stuck in a rut and forget why you're showing up to greet people each Sunday. Remind volunteers of why what they're doing is important and how their service supports the overall mission of your church.
3. Provide refresher training
Even seasoned volunteers can forget about emergency procedures or the finer points of how you want them to handle various situations.
In preservice meetings, provide a quick reminder of a particular policy or situation and how to handle each. Field any questions they may have and send out a follow-up email later in the week.
4. Offer flexibility
Once a volunteer serves in a particular role for a year or more, he might be ready for a change. In other cases, a volunteer may serve in a role for a few weeks and realize this isn't a good fit.
Either way, talk with your volunteers on a regular basis and find out if they're enjoying their current role. What do they like/dislike, and why? If a change seems necessary and reasonable, then move them into a new role.
5. Get to know them
If your volunteers only hear from you when you need them, they'll start to feel used. Carve out a few minutes each Sunday to walk around and chat with volunteers. Meet their families, learn what each does for a living, ask how they came to Christ, etc. Make sure they know you care about them — not just about what they do for the church.
After a busy holiday season, you and your volunteers might still be feeling a bit worn out. This is an important time to remind each other of the impact you're having and to refocus on abiding in and serving Christ in this New Year.
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