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Church Secretary's Guide To Recruiting Volunteers

Apr 21, 2008
If you're feeling overworked and need help, you may want to consider recruiting volunteers. Many members are waiting for opportunities to serve their church and would gladly help out when they can.

Many churches are full of willing members whose gifts and talents are not being utilized. There are many people who work nights and would be willing to volunteer during the day and vice versa. The key is helping them see the benefits to the church and to them when they do volunteer.

Sometimes those who can't sing, play instruments, etc. but have a desire to "work" in the church find tons of fulfillment from volunteering.

Your job is to treat them like VIPs, reward them for their service, and help them see that serving at the church is a rich experience that makes a huge impact.

Here are a few pointers that will help you find and keep volunteers:

Ask for help - This seems like stating the obvious, however if you don't ask for help, your members won't know you need it. Post volunteer opportunities in your bulletin, newsletter or announcements. Tell them that you need their help.

Get your pastor's endorsement - For some reason, when your pastor makes a request from the membership, you get a better response. Ask your pastor to "endorse" your request by encouraging the members to volunteer for your project. You can even have your pastor say "We need 20 people this Saturday at 8:00 am. If you can commit to coming, stand up now." Our pastor does it all the time and it works! Now, in 5 minutes flat you have your 20 volunteers (many times more) committed and ready to work.

Give clear and precise information - Tell them where and when to show up and who to look for. If you tell them to be at the church at 8:00 am on a Saturday morning, make sure you tell them to meet in the Fellowship Hall or Children's Building. Tell them to look for Sis. Brown... and make sure Sis. Brown is there at 8:00 am. Don't waste their time, or they won't show up again.

Have something for them to do - Never have your volunteers standing or sitting around with nothing to do. They'll be less likely to commit to future projects becaue they will feel you never need them anyway. Always be organized and prepared.

Reward their work - You can do this many ways. Have snacks for them when they come. Have them sign in and out when they work and at the end of the year give awards for the top 3-5 people with the most hours volunteered. Have different departments and make your most diligent volunteers department leaders...some people love "acknowledged" responsibility. There are all kinds of ways to do it, but just make sure that your volunteers know that you appreciate them.

There... it's as simple as that. I don't want to oversimplify the process, but it's easy to start where you are. If you can't do all of the pointers at one time, start with one and work your way up. You'll see tangible results before you know it.
About the Author
Tamala M. Huntley is author of the revolutionary manual, "Basic Training 101: A Super Easy Guide to Getting More Done, Reducing Office Clutter and Producing More With Less Stress." To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit http://www.churchsecretaryessentials.com NOTE: You're welcome to "reprint" this article online as as it remains complete and unaltered with the "about the author info" at the end.
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