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5 Volunteer Leadership Tips That’ll Make You a Pro

Volunteer Leadership Tip #3: Make It Clear

One of the most common reasons volunteers share for quitting is that they didn’t have a clear understanding of what was expected of them. It’s frustrating for volunteers to answer God’s call and then feel confused, overwhelmed, or under-utilized in service.

So make it a goal to develop job (ministry) descriptions that include the following elements: title, goal of the position, who they’re accountable to, a brief summary describing the role,  approximate time required per week, the duration of service (a year?), and finally the benefits the volunteer will receive for doing the ministry.

If that feels overwhelming, check out www.churchvolunteercentral.com. Members of Church Volunteer Central can view and customize over 500 ministry descriptions as a benefit of their membership.

Volunteer Leadership Tip #4: Equip Your Volunteers

I taught my son how to drive a stick-shift last night. It was frustrating when I sat on my side of the car and told him how. Once I said, “let me show you,” I realized I’d been teaching him wrong. Actually driving the car reminded me of how to do it. Within seconds after we traded spots, he got it!

So the lesson learned? We can’t equip others to do what we’re not equipped to do. So even before we equip our volunteers, we need to get in touch with what’s current, what works and doesn’t, and how to do things ourselves…then pass that on.

I can’t encourage you enough to keep learning…and then help your volunteers keep learning. Training meetings impossible to get volunteers to? Then reinvent your training with posts on facebook, tweets, quick emails or links sent, or send them to a site to watch a quick video.

So many volunteers quit their positions because they feel ineffective. But yours can feel equipped and sense the blessing from God of “well done, good and faithful servant” when you help them enjoy the ride!

Volunteer Leadership Tip #5: Just Ask!

It seems like a no-brainer, but statistics show the #1 reason people volunteer is because someone asked them!  Here are 3 quick steps for inviting someone into ministry.  It’s kind of like having a party—and your prospective volunteers are the VIPs.

Step 1 – The Guest List: Make a list of people with the right qualities.  Need someone friendly?  Organized?  Tech-savvy?  Use this as a primary filter.

Step 2 – The Invitation: When it comes to inviting people, get personal.  Either face-to-face or in a brief note. In your note, share how they will make a difference and briefly describe why you enjoy serving in your position.  Positive, high-energy statements are contagious!  End your note with a personal invitation to meet up and discuss the possibilities.

Step 3 – The Party – A Face to Face Meeting: Follow up to arrange a time to meet.  Share what God’s doing in your ministry, and how your “guest” could benefit from getting involved.  If they’re not ready to commit, invite them to observe.  There’s nothing like seeing God at work!

For more great articles on leading volunteers, check out 25 Best Articles on Leading Volunteers (That Get Them to Stay and Thrive!)