Volunteers: Revive the Vibe, Recruit, & Train-to-Retain

Thanks to Bryant Johnson for sharing two related Great Ideas through Building Faith!

In his first post, Johnson begins with the importance of Stories Told and Untold, illuminating the importance of sharing accurate and full stories of who we are as church and as individuals within the Body of Christ.

He then wonders, ‘What Story Is Your Church Telling?’ – and offers a list of concerns/issues/gaps shared by numerous congregations: all variations on the theme of a shortage of volunteers.

Then Johnson shifts to suggestions for creating A Climate of Celebration and Abundance, writing, ‘Until the climate surrounding volunteerism in the church shifts to one of celebration and abundance, it will be extremely difficult to move beyond minor momentary successes. Once the climate has been addressed, the path for recruiting, training, and equipping volunteers will become clear and achievable.’

Read the whole of Creating a Healthy Climate for Ministry Volunteers.

Johnson’s second post, focuses on actively recruiting volunteers – and 5 Common Mistakes:

  1. Expecting announcements about the opportunity to be enough
  2. Expecting people simply to volunteer
  3. Keeping the tasks minimal for volunteers
  4. Expecting volunteers to figure it out themselves
  5. Concluding that we’ve asked everyone, or we just don’t have the right people

To move away from these recruitment ‘mistakes’, Johnson suggests 5 Alternative Practices for Volunteer Recruitment:

  1. Consider volunteer processes a core component of your work
  2. Consider the tasks for each volunteer role
  3. Create three lists
  4. Begin recruiting
  5. Continue making contacts

He concludes with The Difference Volunteer Recruitment Makes

Read the full Moving from Mistakes to Successes in Recruiting Volunteers post.

Yale Divinity School’ s Youth Ministry Institute also shared resources for how to attract, train, and set up a plan for supervising youth workers and volunteers. You can access them here.

See also our recent reference to, ‘Mentoring Formation Leaders‘, and ‘Creating Meaningful Get-Togethers‘ for additional tips on expanding and empowering ‘active participants’ in your context.