21 Ways To Encourage Your Church Volunteers This Week
By: Vanderbloemen April 7, 2016
Keeping your church's volunteers happy and invested is very important in creating a strong church culture of service and growth. Here are 21 ways that church leaders can show their volunteers how much they appreciate their service.
1. Send them a text right after they have served.
Thanking a volunteer right after they served on a random day is a thoughtful way to show them you appreciate their service.
2. Write them a thank you note.
A handwritten note always shows you took the time to write it, and everyone loves receiving mail!
3. Buy them a good cup of coffee.
If volunteers are coffee afficionados, surprise them with some quality coffee from a popular local coffee shop.
4. Send them a small e-gift card.
Even if the giftcard is only $5, it can still buy a nice latte, a couple of songs, or a movie rental, etc.
5. Call them.
In an age of texting, emoji, and .gif replies, an actual vocal thank you still goes a long way.
6. Send them a short video message.
Getting your Senior Pastor to record a short video "thank you" personalized to specific volunteers as a group is an awesome way to show the difference your volunteers are making in the church as a whole.
7. Serve in their role alongside them on one Sunday.
As a church leader or ministry director, you probably oversee everything from the top. But serving alongside your volunteers from time to time is a great way to connect with them and show them how much you care, especially in a very large church with a large number of volunteers. Spend a Sunday checking in kids, greeting, or directing traffic with the other volunteers.
8. Volunteer parking spot award.
Have the church reserve a great parking spot right in front for your volunteer of the week or month to use.
9. Highlight your volunteers in the church program.
If your church has a program or bulletin each week, find a space there that you can highlight a volunteer with a short profile of them and a thank you. You could do this with your church's pre-service slides as well.
10. Shout out from stage.
If you have the chance at some point in the weekly annoucements or before the benediction, give a shout out about a key volunteer from that week or month.
11. Sports outing with all the volunteers.
Take your ministry's volunteer team out to a local pro or college game. Lots of teams have discount nights or group discounts.
12. Post about them on your church's social media.
If your church runs a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, do a weekly post highlighting one of your volunteers.
13. Send them an email.
Send your volunteers a personalized thank you email from time to time. Make sure it says something specific about them individually rather than copy-and-pasting the same email to all.
14. Provide the opportunity for stage time if they want.
Some volunteers would love the opportunity for a little stage time. Whether it’s giving a prayer or doing the welcome one week, this is a unique opportunity for your volunteers to feel more visible and connected with the leadership team of your church.
15. Make volunteer t-shirts.
Make a special volunteer team t-shirt to make them easily identifiable to visitors.
16. Provide snacks or continental breakfast.
You should always have some granola bars or fruit around for your volunteers. Some of them probably skip breakfast as they wake up earlier to come serve. Once in a while, splurge on breakfast tacos or really good bagels for your volunteer team.
17. Provide a free food truck or bbq party for the church staff and volunteers one afternoon.
Everyone loves a party! If you have the budget throw a bbq party or pre-pay for a food truck to set up one afternoon for your volunteer team.
18. Celebrate birthdays for volunteers and give cards.
You don’t need to do a cake and punch every week, but take the time to personally wish your volunteers a happy birthday. Go the extra mile with a hand written birthday card for them.
19. Make pins to mark tenure as volunteer.
I once served at an organization that did this, and I proudly wore my 5 year pin every chance I got. You could do this on a “years served” or “hours served” basis.
20. Arrange for a massage therapist to come in.
Have a sign up sheet for volunteers to pick a 5-10 min window they can get a quick chair massage as they are serving.
21. Create a pin or badge for all volunteers.
Similar to a t-shirt, a pin or badge can be used to identify volunteers, and it also creates a sense of belonging and camaraderie between the volunteers. Make it feel like a club that they are members of.
How can you use these ideas to encourage your volunteers this week?