I might be completely crazy but hear me out…ask your volunteers if they want to continue serving in family ministry. When I first started at my current church we struggled to have leaders who were passionate and excited to serve in family ministry. After countless meeting, coffees and prayer we decided to give people an option after every trimester to either continue serving on the team or switch to another ministry. Here’s what we discovered a year later:
The First Time is Hard// Yep, you probably guessed it but I lost volunteers when we first posed this question. However, we helped other ministries find new volunteers. We only lost half of our team. I did not like sending out those emails, making those calls and having those conversations but this was a catalyst to solidifying a team who wants to passionately serve the families at our church.
You Know Who to Invest In// After we narrowed our team down I knew we had volunteers that wanted to serve; they were passionate and committed. It was a great feeling to know that these volunteers had a choice and they chose to continue. This feeling quickly became a feeling of obligation to invest in these volunteers because they were invested in this ministry.
Communicates That We Care// “We care about our volunteers”; that is a common mantra for many churches however, most volunteers don’t always feel cared for. A benefit to this method is we not only say we care…we show it. People are not scaffolding to use and build on- people are the church. Part of the purpose of the church is to serve God and how people serve God should not be defined by need but by the passion God has given them. We not only care about people but we care on how we place God’s people in ministry.
You Form a Team// There is nothing like looking at a group of people and know that they are on board and committed to the team. Through asking tough questions you may not always get answers but you’ll get better results.
So, what is your hesitation? Maybe this is not the best approach to managing your volunteer team. However, I would argue that a ministry that does not regularly evaluate their volunteers might be on the verge of becoming a ministry looking for “warm bodies” rather than a ministry striving to creating an environment for God to make the most of your volunteers. Don’t use people…give them opportunities to be what God has called them to be,
PS- One other thing we learned, people that take “breaks” don’t return after their “breaks”. It’s crucial that you communicate and encourage your departing volunteers to plug in somewhere else. If they don’t, a “break” could lead to disconnection from your church.