I don’t need to stress the importance of volunteers in your ministry. You need them to extend your capacity to reach more teens and new levels. The question is:
HOW DO YOU SHOW THEM VALUE?
We cannot assume that our volunteers know that we appreciate them. In fact, it can be dangerous to take their dedication, and sacrifice, for granted. If a volunteer does not feel valued they will leave.
To show them value you need to:
INVEST IN THEM PROFESSIONALLY
They might not be paid; however, they work just as hard. If you want a volunteer to continue to grow you need to give them opportunities where they can learn the craft.
Take them to conferences, and workshops that give them further education. Give them the books you’ve read to help you grow as a leader. When they see that you invest in them they’ll start to take what they are doing a little more seriously.
SURROUND THEM WITH COMMUNITY
You can’t do ministry on your own and neither can your leaders. If they do not connect with the team they are going to feel like a silo. You show your volunteers value by connecting them in relationships.
Organize team building opportunities and social gatherings. Hang out with them in your free time and get to know them personally. The closer the bond the stronger you will be to take on the messiness of youth ministry.
THANK THEM UNEXPECTEDLY AND CONSISTENTLY
If you want to give your volunteers value you need to actually thank them. You might push back and say, “Chris, I don’t have the money or resources to thank them all.”
You don’t have to do for one what you can do for all. In fact, if you change it up with whom you thank and how you thank it means more. It means you are focusing on the individual’s accomplishment and why they are important to the team.
PRAISE THEM PUBLICLY
Tell your pastor about your team. If you are in a public setting give one a shout out. Brag about them and tell others why they are so important. By praising them publicly you are showing people that you care about your team and that’s a good reputation to have.
Show your volunteers value by spending time, resources and energy on building them up. Love them and praise them and never let them forget how much they mean to you, the ministry and the church.
How do you show your volunteers value?