Getting to “Yes!”

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

Let’s face it: It’s always a challenge to find and retain volunteers to cover every aspect of your ministry. No matter how large or small, churches and organizations are always looking for people willing to donate their time to an area that needs it.

An additional challenge over the past 6 months is COVID-19 and all of the ways that organizations have had to adapt to online ministry and activities. It’s really shaken up the volunteer scene.

Here are 4 easy ways to find and keep good volunteers, especially during challenging times:

Think outside of the box. Look for volunteers in places you haven’t looked previously. For example, you may have people in your organization with compromised health who always attend services online. They may be willing to volunteer in an online class if it means they can do it from the comfort and safety of their own home. Or, you may know of some people who are tech-savvy and would be willing to use that expertise to make sure your Zoom calls or online ministry groups are running smoothly.

Make sure your volunteers are serving in the right spot. Volunteers stop serving for many reasons, including lack of time to devote to it, they are burned out, or they aren’t enjoying that particular volunteer position. Before you let that volunteer go, make sure you have a conversation with them. Why do they not want to volunteer anymore? It could be something as simple as shifting them to another team or activity. Or, maybe they just need a break for a few months.

Offer an incentive. It could be as simple as a free coffee from your church cafe, or a cup of soup from a local restaurant. Incentives don’t have to be expensive, but they can be an effective gesture to make sure your volunteers feel loved and appreciated.

Always be looking. When someone joins the organization, ask if they’d be willing to volunteer. They don’t have to start volunteering right away, but you can keep them in mind for future opportunities. Take notes as you look around your congregation. You may have volunteers out there who just want to be asked.

Don’t get discouraged! If someone says “no” to one volunteer opportunity, they may be willing to say “yes” a few months down the road.