Your Biggest Easter Asset: Volunteers
A precious commodity for most non-profits, including churches, is volunteers. You appreciate, organize and encourage them, and in return, most volunteers serve faithfully and joyfully. Still, it can be hard to cultivate a volunteer force for Sunday mornings, and with Easter on the way, you’ll need to rally the troops and gain even more volunteers in order to have a fully staffed and engaging Easter experience.
The good news is that your pool for recruitment is large, as your seats are filled with prospective volunteers. And to make your Easter services run effectively, you’ll need to make the most of people’s talents and their inherent want to help (even if they don’t know it yet … ). Easter is an all in, vibrant celebration after all! People will want to be involved with this movement of excitement and purpose within your organization.
A barrier that all churches face at some point is making sure your volunteers don’t feel like they are missing out and working during services while their friends and family get to enjoy listening to the message. In times of high community and guest impact, we especially want to avoid this potential feeling. So, how do we move past this barrier? Strategic, controlled and well-communicated expectations and roles of your volunteers is essential. In a nutshell, it’s all about the organization of your volunteers.
Organization, which seems like an easy word, can often become out of control and intimidating quickly without the resources to pull it off properly. But, don’t be intimidated. Organization is easily within your reach. We have some practical examples to help you organize your volunteers this Easter to ensure every volunteer is equipped, energized and ready to serve.
In the volunteer recruitment phase, make sure there is a form for people to fill out and indicate their area of interest AND include a space where they can include their strengths. By having a form, you’re gathering valuable insight about your volunteers that can be stored in your database. This allows you to pair them with the right ministry so they will enjoy serving. Also, a strategic and simple list of areas where people can serve is a good way to stay organized (too many areas to serve in creates too many categories to track). This form should be available on paper at a guest center or connections center and online/mobile through your website or church app.
Now that you have your volunteer pool, communicate with them! Use a group feature and group chat in your mobile app or a mass email service to communicate expectations, logistics and a thank you. Organize ministry leaders and help them with this task, since the goal is that they will have a lot of people to communicate to. Keep your communication methods consistent, so people know where to reach you, and so you have a record of all communication to volunteers for the future.
Once Easter Sunday arrives, your volunteers should be ready for action. Create a volunteer center specifically for Easter volunteers to check in, get a name tag and maybe get an appreciation gift or note. With the volunteer center in place, you will know who actually showed up and where they served. You’ll thank yourself later, because now you have even more information about your volunteers that allows you to engage with them later for more volunteer opportunities.
Developing a process and reserving the time and energy to determine what will work best to fulfill your church’s volunteer needs, you’ll find that the effort to organize was well worth the outcome. The success of an organized volunteer team not only affects Easter, but also helps build a successful ministry for years to come.