20 Church Volunteer Management Tips

young pastor in churchVolunteers are a vital part of any church. Organizing volunteers to serve the countless needs can be an overwhelming task. Smart planning and proper executing of church activities will yield the most productive results. Here are 20 ways to help ensure your events are successful. 

1. Promote volunteering around the church. Portray volunteering in a positive light and provide examples of how serving the church benefits the greater good of all.  
2. Keep the roster full. Networking is an important way to get and keep a good number of volunteers identified for weekly and monthly needs. The more people you have interested in lending a hand, the easier to fill all the volunteer slots.  
3. Ask personally. Reach out to church members you feel have a skill that would be a good fit for a particular need. Most people like to be asked to do something specific and are more compelled to say yes. 
4. Plan ahead. Volunteers want you to be prepared for them. Think through all volunteer tasks so you can clearly articulate what needs are to be met and determine how to best utilize the time of your volunteers. 
5. Simplify the time-consuming task of scheduling and signing up volunteers by using SignUpGenius. It’s an easy way to coordinate volunteers and takes just minutes of your time.

Schedule church volunteers with an online sign up. SAMPLE

6. Encourage volunteers to choose best-suited positions for their skills. If a given position is already filled, suggest that they sign up for something anyway. They may discover something else they like to do.  
7. Match it up. If you are the one assigning duties, keep a volunteer’s skillset in mind and consider the best role for that person. If they feel confident in the work they are doing, they will likely come back next time. 
8. Clearly define the length of time needed. Using SignUpGenius makes this easy for all volunteers to know the time commitment up front. 
9. Be realistic. Plan on a few extra volunteers in case of illness or unexpected emergencies. Use floaters to fill in when someone is unable to volunteer or a station needs more help than you expected. 
10. Communicate. Save time and hold volunteers accountable by using the reminder feature on SignUpGenius to notify individuals about their responsibilities. The system will notify volunteers by email or text. 
11. Connect! Volunteers want to feel welcomed. Be the gracious leader of your volunteer team. Make it clear how much you appreciate them.  
12. Remember names. This makes people feel good and will encourage them to sign up again when volunteers are needed. 
13. Upon a volunteer’s arrival, give direction. Everyone needs a clear understanding of what is expected of him or her during the event. 
14. Stay available. Volunteer coordinators need to let volunteers know they are available if they have any questions or concerns. 
15. Support the volunteers. They want basic management just like employees do. Check in periodically to make sure their duties are being performed correctly and give words of encouragement. 
16. Feed them. Depending on how long the event runs, provide plenty of water and snacks to ensure everyone is running at their top performance.  
17. Stay positive throughout the event. It’s the most important quality to show and can be one of the easiest to forget. 
18. Be thankful. Appreciate the volunteers, compliment them sincerely, and let them know the church simply would not succeed without them.

Say “thank you” to your volunteers with one of these unique volunteer appreciation ideas

19. Think retention. The more your volunteers feel that they have a specific role in the church, the more they will come to own it and continue to sign up for it. Reassign recurring roles. 
20. Stay in touch. This is particularly important for first-timers. Volunteers are likely to return if they feel both welcomed and valued. 

Encourage, appreciate, and care for the volunteers who faithfully serve your church. The whole church is greatly blessed by the service of their volunteers.   

Sara Kendall Sara Kendall is a freelance writer and mom of two daughters.