I was thinking today about my weekend volunteers and how much I appreciate them. I am so thankful for them because they care about the ministry just as much as I do. Before I got into youth ministry I worked for World Vision. I led and worked with volunteers all the time. The five things I’ve listed below are things that I have to remind myself of constantly because they make a huge difference in the experience of my volunteers. So I thought I would share them.
- Give clear direction – If you want to get the most out of your volunteers, give them detailed instructions of the things you need them to do. A great way to train yourself to be super detail oriented is assume no one is assertive. If you need them to clean up, then you need to show them how you want things cleaned up. I’ve learned that if you are to general in how you want them to do things, they will do it the way they know how. You could be making more work for yourself by not being specific in what is needed from them. I’ve overseen many volunteer groups and I can’t stress enough the importance of you giving your volunteers details. Remember they volunteered which means they want to help, but they will only be as effective as you plan them to be.
- Set goals – When volunteers know their target they work hard to hit it. Let them see your vision for the day Remember they are their to help and they want to do as much as possible. So don’t be afraid to challenge them.
- Attitude is everything – Volunteers will mimic what you and your team do. So if you all complain and have bad attitude towards what you are doing so will your volunteers. If you and your team exude excitement about what you are doing and model it for your volunteers, your volunteers will follow. Model the attitude and excitement you want your volunteers to have.
- Encourage – Who doesn’t like hearing great job. Also, when you encourage your volunteers you keep them engaged in serving. It also lets them know you are engaged with whats going on at their level. Which says a lot to those volunteering.
- Praise – Understand that the people who are volunteering are giving you their most prized possession which is their time. Let them know how much you appreciate what they are doing for you. Show gratitude every chance you get, because you need and you want to keep volunteers that care about your ministry just as much as you do. They need to know how important they are to the ministry.
hope it helps