People don?t just volunteer at your church because it?s fun. No matter how fun it is, most people start volunteering because they feel a strong desire to be used by God. They might not be ready to sell everything they own and move to the jungles of Brazil, but they do know how to park cars or click buttons on a Mac. There?s an inherent value built into volunteer positions at your church.[quote]There?s an inherent value built into volunteer positions at your church.[/quote]
At the same time, it?s easy for people to forget why they?re doing what they?re doing. Everyone has a bad week at times, and they just don?t feel like volunteering.
That?s why I see some of the churches who are most effective at integrating volunteers making the volunteer experience super fun. The eternal value must be emphasized first and foremost, but then a fun experience offers staying power.
Let me ask you: How much fun do your volunteers have during your weekend services? Or maybe I should ask your volunteers…
Here are a few ideas for making your volunteer experience fun for those who serve each week.
1. Food (The Good Kind)
Serve food to your volunteers. And make sure it?s the best. Don?t just buy cheap donuts at Costco and Folgers laced with year-old sugar packets. Invest your best into your people. It?ll show that you value them, and feeling valued is fun.[quote]Invest your best into your people. It?ll show that you value them, and feeling valued is fun.[/quote]
Change it up week-to-week too. Buy them bagels one week, donuts the other, and then have a chef in the congregation whip up something special. These little gestures will tell your volunteers that they?re important, and it?ll get them expectant to see the spread each week.
2. Check-in Before Serving
Don?t just have your volunteers show up and immediately start serving. Gather together first. Pray for each other or talk to each other. Make sure people who are serving together actually know each other. Break the ice. Remind them of the vision.[quote]Make sure people who are serving together actually know each other.[/quote]
Even if you can?t do it before people start serving, find a time to gather together and connect before things get hectic. Don?t make this an afterthought at the end of the service; be proactive.
3. Special Things
Is it National Ice Cream Day? Or Taco Day? Serve them?something special. While you?re at it, why not offer that to the whole congregation?
You can also choose random people each week and give them a small gift to thank them for their service. It doesn?t have to be a big thing and you don?t have to publicize it. But look for opportunities to make special things happen for your volunteers. It not only affects the volunteers and helps them have fun, but it also helps set a standard of surprise and delight that your volunteers will extend to your congregation.
4. Shared Values, Communicated Often
Do people know what?s important for your volunteer team? Do they understand that ?wow? moments are important? You should codify that.
Make short statements that cast vision for your team and repeat them often. Once you repeat them often enough, they?ll become a sort of inside joke with your volunteers ? one they take seriously. Once you hear people repeating it and having fun with it, you?ll know it has made it into their hearts.[quote]Make short statements that cast vision for your team and repeat them often.[/quote]
5. Connection Time Apart from Serving
Finally, meet together away from the service opportunity. Don?t just see them on weekends.
You could have a team barbeque or just meet up for coffee every now and then. Be sure people feel included and that they can connect outside of the volunteer time. People who like each other and call each other friends have fun together. Be sure you?re fostering this environment for your team.
A service filled with volunteers who are having fun will be a fun service. Set the atmosphere for your team. Make it an enjoyable experience each week. I guarantee, if you do this, you?ll see your teams grow and the church service become even better.