We have very diverse churches with different styles, but one thing we all have in common is the need for great volunteer teams. A strong, healthy volunteer program doesn't happen by accident or overnight. It requires planning and strategic effort to make it successful.

Since we’re all familiar with the Ten Commandments, I thought I'd offer a version for leading church volunteers.

1. Thou shalt plan ahead and ask volunteers to sign up early for special events (at least two weeks in advance).

2. Thou shalt take care of your parking team with proper equipment and hot coffee or cold water depending on the season.

3. Thou shalt not change instructions at the last minute (at least not often).

4. Thou shalt train all volunteers and provide clear expectations (documented "job" descriptions are great for this one).

5.. Thou shalt run background checks on anyone applying to serve with children under 18.

6. Thou shalt not announce a significant change and expect volunteers to implement it right away.

7. Thou shalt be well-known for appreciating your volunteers and having fun.

8. Thou shalt cultivate leaders on your volunteer teams so you can delegate responsibility to them and not try to do everything yourself.

9. Thou shalt not "fill holes" with volunteers. Instead, place people in roles they're passionate about and have the abilities needed to be successful.

10. Thou shalt communicate a compelling vision for why people should volunteer and how they'll benefit from the experience.

Bonus Commandment for extra-happy volunteers: Thou shalt ensure that coffee is abundantly supplied (especially for the early service crew!).