Happy, engaged volunteers are the cornerstone for a thriving ministry. When volunteers are engaged, they are more likely to serve longer and recruit others to the team.To increase volunteer engagement on your team, try these ideas:
- Foster relevance: Relate service opportunities to volunteers’ lives. As people are serving, point out the transferable skills that they are learning and practicing. For example, if someone leads the large group time, they’re most likely great public speakers. Encourage them to use their speaking skills at work.
- Understand their frame of mind: Get to know your volunteers and practice seeing the world from their perspectives. Are they focused on the big picture or in tune with the fine details? As you do, you’ll understand how they approach their ministry roles. By seeing your volunteers’ perspectives, you can better equip them as learners and leaders.
- Show concern for well-being: Know what’s happening in your volunteers’ lives. Be intentional about asking about their family, friends, and work. Being aware of these important details demonstrates your care for the whole person, not just their role in ministry.
- Give affirmation: Celebrate what your volunteers are doing using praise, positive feedback, and pointing out specific opportunities where they can do what they’re doing even better! Be generous and bless volunteers with gift cards to coffee shops or local eateries! People stay engaged because the feel connected and valued.
- Encourage creativity: Volunteers have great ideas! Let your ministry be a place where they can test them. Paint the picture of you’d like them to achieve and encourage them to use their creativity and imagination to make it a reality. Be present along the way to offer feedback and encouragement. By promoting creativity, you’re also encouraging risk-taking behaviors, one of the key behaviors of innovation.