I’ve been noticing a bunch of blogs recently on the topic of retaining volunteers in ministry. This is an extremely vital issue in the Church. So, I’ve offered a small list of my own personal high points below.
– Notice: Many times we use the term ‘appreciate,’ and we absolutely need to appreciate all who serve in our individual ministry areas. I will strongly suggest, however, that being regularly noticed combats the very likely thought of “I’m being taken for granted” from entering their mind. This is simple, but requires being intentional. Here it is. Make an effort to be sure they see you seeing them in action.
– Know: Sure, most of realize the benefits of knowing the spiritual gifts, personality type, experiences, etc. of our team members. But I would challenge you to also know something about their life outside of the ministry. Are they enduring a current trial? Is there a high point to celebrate with them? What are their kids’ names? This level of involvement can happen over coffee or lunch, making small talk when passing in the church lobby, or even a phone call asking them how you can pray for them this week.
– Contribute: Our volunteers need to know the vision and direction for their area of ministry. Additionally, those who have input to share need to be given the opportunity to do so. Now…being given a voice is one thing, but being heard and considered is translated as ‘value‘ to any volunteer. It says “I care what you think.” What I am not saying is for you to be a people-pleaser. Lending someone an open ear does not entitle them to make changes in the ministry…especially if those changes go against the over-all vision of the church. On the other hand, listening to others should help keep key leadership humble and from always thinking that we need to have all the answers.
Are you up for a really bold challenge? Ask your volunteers how you are doing in the three areas mentioned above.