We spend so much of our time trying to figure out how to get volunteers that we often forget what to do with them once they’ve committed. If you don’t have a plan over time they’ll walk away.
Your ministry not only needs volunteers, they need competent and confident ones. To bring them to that level you need to make sure you are giving them:
CLEAR DIRECTION AND EXPECTATIONS
Confidence comes from knowing what to do and what’s expected. You need to communicate to your volunteers:
- The agenda for your youth programs.
- When to show up and when to leave.
- How to behave around teenagers, parents and other volunteers.
- What to do in certain situations like emergencies.
If your leaders are on the same page you’ll create synergy. With synergy comes momentum that will enable your ministry to hit deeper levels.
VALUE FOR THEIR TIME AND ENERGY
There is a lot of sacrificing when it comes to volunteers. Not only are they giving you their time some of them are:
- Giving up on the opportunity to be with family or friends.
- Spending money on babysitting for their own kids.
- Rushing to get to you after work.
They are giving up a lot because they believe in what you are doing. It’s important to show them value by:
- Sending them a thank you note.
- Praising them in public and bragging on them.
- Getting to know their family and asking them how they are doing.
- Giving them the responsibility to lead, and create.
If a volunteer feels valued they’ll not only grow in confidence but invest further in your ministry.
RESOURCES THAT SET THEM UP FOR SUCCESS
What do your volunteers need to succeed? Do they need certain materials? Are they missing important information? You need to know what your team needs in order to serve at the highest level possible.
Set your leaders up for success by asking them, “What do you need to do your job effectively?” Make sure you never assume that they’ll approach you.
An effective leader is someone who is checking in with their team to make sure they have what they need. If they have the right tools they’ll feel confident with what you’ve asked them to do.
AN INVESTMENT TO HELP THEM GO DEEPER
On top of resources that will help them do their jobs, you need to invest in their spiritual journey. Your volunteers need to be growing disciples, and while most of that is up to them you can help.
Make sure you are providing retreat opportunities for them to go deeper. Share with them the resources you use for your own discipleship. Check-in with them from time to time about their own faith walk.
The more you can give your team the more they’ll give back. Your volunteers are essential to the health of your ministry. So, make sure they are and remain a priority.
What else can we give our volunteers to help them succeed?