How to get enough volunteers for Easter while growing your team
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
From Good Friday to Easter Sunday, your church will likely host several events and special services. Making those activities run smoothly requires more volunteers than a typical Sunday morning.
So, do you have enough volunteers for Easter services? If the answer is "no" or "I hope so," then keep reading ...
Due to the need for additional volunteers, merely relying on your usual system for filling volunteer roles may not work. Why? You'll have more first-time guests on Easter Sunday.
That's more cars pulling into the parking lot. That's more people coming into your church building who have no idea where to go next. That's more people who've never checked their children into your system.
While it's wonderful to have new people at church, the environment can become chaotic if you don't have enough volunteers to host and guide them.
It may seem overwhelming to try and find enough volunteers for Easter weekend. But consider that a special event such as Easter is a great time to encourage people to serve.
They're only signing up for one day, so it's a low commitment for them. However, this is your chance to make serving such an amazing experience that they decide to get involved on a more consistent basis.
So, how do you make sure you have enough volunteers for Easter and are able add to your regular volunteer team afterward? Here are a few tips:
Tip 1: Determine what roles you need to fill for Easter weekend
Make a list of the volunteer roles you'll need to fill along with a description of what each role involves.
Example: Photo Booth Coordinator — Volunteers in this role will keep the line organized, help families get their pictures taken, and keep any décor in the photo booth clean and in the proper place.
Tip 2: Define what the schedule will look like
Before you ask volunteers to serve, you need to know what serving that day will entail.
Will you have volunteers come in earlier than usual? If so, what time do they need to arrive? Is their arrival time based on their role or should all volunteers come at the same time? Do you need volunteers to handle anything during service (such as setting up Communion elements or assisting with baptisms)?
Create a minute-by-minute service order that details what Easter Sunday will look like before you contact potential volunteers. They may have questions that this information will help you answer.
Tip 3: Identify volunteer leaders first
You probably have volunteers who lead other volunteers on your behalf. You'll likely have a lot to do yourself Easter weekend, so you want to make sure your key leaders can serve that day.
You also need to provide them with information and instructions on what you need them to do. The better you equip them beforehand, the more effective they will be in preventing issues and keeping things running smoothly.
Once you have people sign up to serve who aren't part of your regular volunteer team, let the appropriate volunteer leader know. Your volunteer leaders need to train these new volunteers and make sure they have a great experience serving.
Tip 4: Invite people to serve ASAP
Once you know what Easter weekend will look like, what roles you'll need to fill and that your key volunteer leaders are on board, start inviting others to serve. Talk with your regular volunteers on Sunday mornings, send out follow-up emails, ask current volunteers to help you find more people to help, etc.
The sooner you start getting this on their schedules, the greater the likelihood that you'll have all those volunteer spots filled way before Easter weekend.
Tip 5: Send reminder emails the week before Easter
The only danger in asking people to sign up to serve well in advance is that they might forget about their commitment. Send out reminder emails the week before Easter to remind them of the volunteer role they'll fill that day, what time you need them to arrive and where they should meet when they get to the church.
Tip 6: Feed your volunteers
Provide coffee and a few snacks for volunteers. If you have a room they can meet in for final instructions before going to their assignments, set up a small table with goodies for them.
This is especially important if you have volunteers helping with multiple worship services. They'll appreciate your kindness, and you'll keep them fueled for the morning.
Tip 7: Send thank-you notes out the week after
You'll probably need volunteers to go above and beyond for Easter services. Acknowledge their contribution to making those services run smoothly with a short, hand-written thank-you note. We're so used to receiving electronic messages that a card in the mail will really stand out.
Tip 8: Follow up with new volunteers
Contact those who served on Easter Sunday who aren't on a regular volunteer team. Another option is to ask your volunteer leaders to contact these individuals. That may work better since your volunteer leaders probably interacted with them more than you did.
Ask what they thought of their experience serving and see if they're interested in becoming part of the team. Don't assume they'll sign up without you inviting them. They may not realize you need more volunteers on a regular basis. It's worth taking a few minutes to get their feedback and ask if they'd like to serve more often.
Preparing for Easter weekend isn't a small task. However, by putting these tips into practice, you can start filling those volunteer roles now and add to your regular volunteer team as well.
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