We all want quality over quantity, right? Sadly it’s easy to forget this basic principle when it comes to recruiting volunteers. We want numbers, but we can’t just sign up warm bodies. To have a successful ministry you need happy and healthy volunteers. You want men and women who are stacking hands, picking up the slack and bringing the ministry to a new level.
To yield those results you need to make sure that they start out their ministry journey on the right foot. That means being aware that new volunteers cannot be taken for granted. To help you remember that:
DIFFERENT PEOPLE SERVE FOR DIFFERENT REASONS
The reason you got involved into ministry is going to be different than some (Maybe many) of your volunteers. Some of them will jump on board to:
- Learn more about their kids and their friends.
- Save the next generation.
- Never let go of their youth.
- Give back what they received as a teenager.
When you learn the reason you then need to learn the intentions behind that reason. Knowing why your volunteers are involved in ministry is going to help address any misperceptions they might have about serving the next generation. You’ll be on the same page, know how to invest them and help them reach their goals.
THE FIRST 30 DAYS THEY ARE VULNERABLE
When you have someone serving for the first time they are fragile. They don’t know anyone, they aren’t sure what to do and it can be intimidating. If they have a bad first day it might end up being their last day in ministry. Make sure you are prepared for your new volunteers.
Partner them up with someone more experienced. Give them an opportunity to apprentice and learn from others. It will not only give them confidence but connect them to the community you are trying to build.
NOTHING IS 100% CLEAR AT FIRST
To help your new volunteers go from the minimal commitment to life long disciples you need to make sure they are clear on the vision and mission. Let them know the strategy and why you do what you do. When they see your goals and dreams for the ministry it will give them a clearer picture to work with you.
Do not assume that because you had an orientation or sent them a packet that they “get it”. The more they get it the easier it will be to help them grow from volunteers to leaders.
How you receive new volunteers is crucial to the life of your ministry. Confident volunteers lead to a stronger program that will give you the support you need.
What does your process for new volunteers look like in your ministry?