Most churches have volunteers to greet people as they come in on Sunday mornings, others to provide childcare during service, ushers in the sanctuary and someone to make coffee. However, volunteers for administrative tasks don't typically make the list.

We don't often consider administration as an area where volunteers could serve. Also, if your church is having a hard time getting enough volunteers for front-facing ministry areas, administration isn't going to get much focus.

However, you likely have individuals in your congregation who would be excellent at administrative tasks. The key here is to make a clear path to show them how they can contribute and invite them to get started.

Here are a few tips to building your own volunteer administration team:

Tip 1: Decide what you'll have them do

Don't start recruiting people until you know what tasks you’d want them to handle. If you're not sure where to start, here are some potential options:

  • Cleaning up the church database
  • Stuffing envelopes
  • Folding bulletins
  • Sending follow-up cards to first-time guests
  • Writing or editing the church bulletin

Consider tasks you could delegate to volunteers that would free up your time to handle other projects.

Tip 2: Document how you want them to perform the tasks

You don't want even the most talented volunteers to make it up as they go along.

The next time you perform a task you'd like to hand off to a volunteer, document each step along the way. This will make training much easier and will greatly reduce the number of mistakes you'd have to fix later.

Tip 3: Invite people to volunteer

Start by finding detail-oriented, organized individuals who have a background in administrative-type work. Someone who has experience as an administrative assistant, a bookkeeper or in general office work might be a great fit.

When you're ready to start recruiting, one-on-one invitations will probably work better than a general invite from the stage. Spread the word with small group leaders and other volunteers at your church to see if they know someone who would enjoy (and be good at) administrative work.

Tip 4: Provide training and get them started

Once you have people signing up, use the documentation you created and train each volunteer. Find out how often they can serve, if they can come into the church office during office hours, if they can work during a service they don't usually attend, or if they can work on these tasks at home.

Set a schedule so they know when you need certain tasks completed.

Establishing a volunteer administrative team requires some creativity in scheduling, knowing what you can delegate, plus detailed documentation. While it does mean you'll have some extra work to do initially, a strong volunteer administration team can save you a great deal of time in the long run.