Why I’m Passionate about Volunteering in Church

lightstock_62135_xsmall_deborah_wipfYou may have noticed that I have a few things to say about volunteers in the church.  It’s a hot topic for me and there’s a reason for that passion.  I’ve been a member of my church for about eight years and I only knew a few people when I first started coming to this church. I’m not exactly what you’d call “out-going,” so serving was the best way for me to meet new people.

Thankfully, I’ve made life-long friends as I’ve served on Sundays and at special events.  We’ve worked hard and played hard together.  We share exciting news and help each other get through life’s challenges.  The messages from our pastor combined with what I’ve learned from my fellow volunteers have both contributed greatly to my spiritual growth.

 I want everyone attending your churches to reap these same benefits.

As church leaders, you get to create environments that foster new friendships and help people discover the gifts God has placed within them.  That’s a great privilege and a huge responsibility, as these environments require your attention and nurturing to be successful.  I mention the responsibility aspect because of the ability you have to influence volunteers in either a very positive or negative way.  A lack of clear communication, planning, and appreciation hurts volunteers and dampens their desire to serve.

That’s why I’m adamant that you need to set clear expectations and train your volunteers.

That’s why it’s important for you to communicate with them and ask for their feedback.

That’s also why they need to hear “thank you” and know that you care about them as much more than just warm bodies filling a spot.

Inviting people to serve in your church is more about connecting them with each other and with their role in the Body of Christ then it is about filling an open position.  Approach recruiting and retaining volunteers with that in mind.  That focus will help you know how to treat your volunteers in any given situation.

Provide clear expectations, training, communication, appreciation and inspiration.  In turn, they’ll multiple your ministry impact by ensuring that those coming in for the worship service feel welcome.  They’ll teach children about God’s love, host first-time guests who’re feeling a bit lost, and will be the friendly faces greeting each person as they come onto your campus.

While I’m obviously passionate about volunteers, I won’t write about this topic every week.  There are other aspects of ministry that I’m excited to write about as well.  However, I’ll keep weaving it into the conversation since I personally know how much your congregation can benefit from serving.  Keep pouring into your volunteers and be patient as God uses your efforts to bear much fruit in their lives and in your church.