How to Turn Volunteers into Raving Fans Who’ll Recruit for You

iStock_000017317382XSmallIf you’ve been following along with my last two posts, we’ve walked through how to prepare for recruiting and then how to recruit and assign new volunteers.  That process works quite well, but wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to do much recruiting at all?  What if your current volunteers loved serving at your church so much that they recruited for you?

Here are a few ways to help you achieve that goal:

#1: Communicate, communicate, communicate!

As a church staff member, you’re in the trenches all week long.  You know all the acronyms and insider language.  You know which areas need more help; you know where all the cleaning supplies are kept, and where those pesky doorstops ran off to this week (sorry, that’s my own issue…)!

Here’s the thing: Your volunteers don’t know that stuff.  They’ve been at their own jobs all week, so if you don’t communicate it – they don’t know it.  If you want volunteers who’ll recruit like crazy, then honor their time by communicating with them.  What do I need to communicate?  I’m glad you asked!

  • Special announcements or events coming up (since they look “official”, people will ask them – don’t embarrass your volunteers; make sure they’re well informed)
  • Any changes in how you want them to do things that week
  • Reiterate messages from training such as what time they need to arrive, what they need to wear, how they should help first-time guests, etc.  (No, this isn’t being repetitive.  Trust me – they forgot at least some of this right after training was over and will appreciate the reminder.)


 #2: Appreciate!

Yes, serving should be a result of a life surrendered to Christ.  This doesn’t mean, however, that a “thank you” or kind gesture isn’t necessary.   Here are a few ways to show your gratitude for your team:

  • Send thank-you notes to volunteers who did something over-the-top amazing or helpful this week.
  • Ask for their input and when you implement a suggestion, give them the credit.
  • Place a few coolers with ice water and cups near the parking crew so they can stay hydrated and cool during the summer months (carafes of hot coffee or hot cocoa in the winter would be great).
  • Bring in donuts or bagels on occasion for your team.


**I have a ton of these, so check out The Volunteer Management Toolkit for more ideas.**

#3: Provide the information and supplies they need to succeed

This isn’t hard stuff to do, but it makes a big difference to volunteers:

  • Go through the nursery and children’s rooms to make sure each room is well stocked and items are kept in the same place each week.
  • Have plenty of umbrellas and ponchos available for the parking team in case it rains.
  • For special projects such as painting or landscaping around the church property, have all the supplies ready and set out before your volunteers arrive.


#4: Help them find their passion

Serving is a great way to discover the gifts and passion God has placed inside of you. So many people just go to a day job for the paycheck and never connect with what God has for them.  As you connect them to serving in the church, try using personality and/or spiritual gifting tests to help them figure out where to serve.  Let them try out a couple of areas if needed to find the best fit.  They’ll love it that you helped connect them to something they enjoy doing that also helps the church.

I know you’re busy, but go ahead and carve out the time to implement these suggestions.  Your investment will certainly pay off in happy volunteers who’re inviting their friends to join the team.

Are your volunteers recruiting others to serve? If so, what tips would you offer other church leaders?