People want to enjoy where they serve. They want and long for community. There are always things you can do, even on a small budget, to create an exciting place for people to serve.
Here are 5 Things You Can Do to Create an Exciting Volunteer Culture:
1. Production Headquarters. (PHQ)
You must have a central location or space that your volunteers can hang out when they serve. This could be your control room or an open storage space or separate room. I would suggest it being near your control room so you have quick access if something goes wrong or to be available for any changes. In my experience in leadership roles at two churches, we had a studio space that we used on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s as a hangout space. And in another church we used an open storage space outside our control room. I would fill your Production Headquarters with as much stuff as you can- comfy couches, refrigerator, microwave, dining table, comfy chairs, cabinets, etc. These things don’t have to be fancy.
Take up a collection from your volunteers of $20 from everyone. Once you have a couple hundred dollars, go thrift shopping. If someone wants to donate old furniture or appliances, let them. You’ll might be surprised what people are needing to get rid of that they would gladly donate to your team.
In our Production Headquarters at Newspring, everything we had was either donated or repurposed from an area that wasn’t using something. We had people donate furniture, a microwave, a full refrigerator, coffee makers, and more, all by just posting on our closed Facebook page what we were looking for. We used very little, if any, church money to make our PHQ happen.
2. Team Events.
Events bring people together. It gives them time to talk, hangout, play games, and experience things with each other. When I served at Newspring, we created an entire events team within the production team. We asked one of our production volunteer ladies, that had been an event planner for a golf clubhouse to be the team leader of this team. My only guidelines for the team was that we wanted to see one big event every quarter (a team-wide cookout, a Christmas Party, a big celebration) and one small event every month.
That’s right- every month we had some type of small event. This was small things we could throw on our Facebook page and if people could make it great, if not they could catch the next one. These small things were things like going to see a movie, grabbing lunch or dinner after we served together on Sunday, “meet at Frankie’s fun park this Saturday for mini-golf and Go-Karts”, stuff like that.
3. Closed Facebook Group.
Social Media is a great way to stay connected to members of your team. A great way to add some community online is to create a closed Facebook Group. Why closed? Because it creates a safe environment where people can share prayer requests and “family” issues. It’s okay to be a little exclusive at times, and I think this is a time where that applies. You don’t need to spend your time policing the content on your group pages. Create a great Facebook group and get your team interacting with each other!
4. Small Groups.
Small Groups within your production team are a great way for your volunteers to spend time with each other, study the Bible together, and grow spiritually in community with each other. Consider having small groups based on age or life stage. It’s okay if your volunteers are involved in other small groups but if you see enough people that are not already in a group, you might try to form one for a season. It’s okay even if you only have a couple groups. In my experience at one church, we had over 120 volunteers on the team and 2-3 small groups- a young adult group and a women’s group. But it made a big difference in the culture that handfuls of people were in a small group together.
5. Production Team T-Shirts and Gear.
Everyone loves team gear. You have an immediate connection with someone you see that’s wearing gear from your favorite sports team. The same will be true for your production team. Design T-Shirts, hoodies, hats, and other gear for your team. You can design and buy your own gear fairly affordable from ChurchInk.com.