Here are 4 ways to get the ball rolling:

Monday, May 22nd, 2023

1. Start early. If you are already thinking about volunteers, you are a step ahead. Even though spring has sprung, your church or organization may have the bulk of its activities in summer and fall months. It’s never too early to start looking.

2. Talk with your current volunteers. With volunteers, there is always a risk of burnout if they serve in the same spot years in a row or are always your go-to when you need a spot filled. Knowing this, come up with a strategy beforehand. If you sense someone is going to bow out of your upcoming vacation bible school, ask them what type of volunteering they are most interested in. Maybe fall is a better timeframe, or they could have a conflicting vacation and you can schedule them at a more preferable time.

3. Find some cheerleaders. Not the kind that are present at sporting events, but the ones who can champion the important job of a volunteer. Ask your longtime volunteers to give testimony about how it has affected their life or brought them joy. Let those experiences have an influence on your future volunteers. You may think about a mentorship program, where an older volunteer or one that has been serving for years teams up with a younger person or a new volunteer.

4. Gratitude. Letting someone know how much you appreciate them not only helps them in the moment, but also gives them a reason to keep serving. If they realize the impact they have made on your program, they may see the value in continuing. Maybe there is a “perk” of the job that would help incentivize them further, such as free coffee or soft drinks, or send them home with a flower or small plant to keep as a gesture of gratitude.

Volunteers are an essential part of every church and faith-based organization, large or small. It can be a daunting task to think about all of your upcoming activities and how you are going to fill the slots, but keeping these tips in mind will get you well on your way.