I’m going to share with you the most amazing volunteer leadership tips I’ve learned about leading volunteers through the experts in Children’s Ministry magazine. Some of these tips…if you follow them…will make you a pro at leading volunteers.
Here’s Tip #1: Never Say “Thanks for HELPING Us.”
Words matter. And the way we say things to our team members matters even more.
It seems like such a benign thing, but when we say to the folks on our team “Thanks for helping us,” it puts them in a less-than-important role. It’s as though “us leaders” are the ones who really matter and these other people are helping “us.”
Instead, thank your team members for their contribution. Say things like “Thanks for making a difference in toddlers’ lives!” or “Thanks for making this outreach event a huge success by setting up and tearing down.” or “Thanks for putting together those gift bags to make our teachers feel valued.”
See the difference? It may feel nuanced, but when you point out the value of what people are doing, it actually makes them want to keep doing it.
Hey, thanks for reading this blog to invest in your amazing skills to lead volunteers. You rock!
(See how that works!)
Volunteer Leadership Tip #2: Plug People Into Relationships
One of the most amazing tips I’ve learned about leading volunteers actually came from my experience of recruiting volunteers.
Tip #2: Plug People Into Relationships
People will leave a task before they’ll leave a relationship. So it’s important to always have at least two people assigned to serve together on a given task.
Here’s how this worked for me. We had a large group/small group ministry. So we needed people to do things behind the scenes to make our ministry shine. For example, we had a Supply Team that gathered supplies for the small group leaders and put them in boxes each week.
I’m sure one person could’ve done this all by herself each week, but instead I recruited four different women who became the best of friends. Each week they would gather to sort through the supplies. While they worked, they laughed, shared needs, and got to know one another.
Their longevity in our ministry was directly tied to their friendship with one another. Let’s be honest, it’s easy to leave a thing, but when you partner people with each other, they become friends. And saying goodbye to a friend is always tougher.
I know…it doubles your recruiting work on the front end if you have to get twice as many people. But just imagine how much easier it’ll be when you don’t have to fill holes because people are committed to serving with their friends.