You want to attract more church volunteers according to a plan, not pressure.

You need a volunteer ministry, not just more volunteers.

You need a volunteer system, not just more sermons and platform announcements.  A good system is as easy as A-B-C-D-E (Attract, Build (Train), Convert (Plug In), Delight (Thank), Evaluate).

The following are 4 components to an effective Attractive System:

  1. Ask Often
  • You need frequent on-ramps. – Interest card / Welcome Desk (orientation, new member class, seat backs)  10 cards gives you 1 leader.  Create an Opportunity Wall with job descriptions, Scheduled Sermons, Back Stage Tours, Volunteer Expos, Website.  You must also create an annual calendar.

2. Ask Everyone

  • Lower the bar for volunteers. Create entry points for non and new Christians.  Raise the bar for leaders. Look for places for thinkers, leaders, doers, etc..

3. Ask Personally

  • Jesus asked generally and specifically. You can recruit volunteers from the platform.  You invite leaders personally.

4. Ask Specifically

  • Generic requests get generic results. Specific requests get greater results and specific people.  Every time you add a level of specificity, you get greater results.
  • Ask a large number of volunteers to engage in massive service projects.

5 Models For Asking

  1. Preaching Model
  2. Class Model – Use the new member class growth track (101,201,301,401).  401 is where you can find out where to serve. Make sure you emphasize Gifts-Based ministry over Needs;Based ministry.  This gives you an influx of new volunteers every month.
  3. Relationship Model – Use a concept called Shoulder Tapping.  A volunteer asks another volunteer to serve with them.  This is part of their job.  Give responsibility for growing volunteer numbers to the team.  Staff should model this by keeping their heads up looking for volunteers.  This is by-far the most effective model.
  4. Campaign Model – This is similar to an annual capital campaign but now includes the recruiting of volunteers.  This will involve dinners, small groups, message series, etc…
  5. Simple Step Model – Conduct Orientation or a Voluntours.  Use no pressure. Just want to show people what is available.  Do these during church when child care is provided.

Don’t choose just one.  Healthy churches pick multiples and put it in a plan.

5  Ways To Thank Volunteers

  1. Say “Thank You” Early And Often
  2. Send hand-written notes. Be specific.
  3. Give Starbucks gift cards.
  4. Brag on them publically in sermons, staff meetings, training sessions. Be specific.
  5. Make them insiders and ask their opinions.

What is one thing from this list you can implement today to have a more healthy volunteer culture?


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