3 Characteristics To Look For In ‘Back Of The House’ Church Volunteers
At every successful restaurant, the staff and management are divided into two main areas—the front of the house and back of the house. Hosts and wait staff make up the "front lines" to the guest’s experience. Their cheerful demeanor and crisp attire leaves an excellent first impression. However, the chefs, cooks, dishwashers, and custodial staff keep the restaurant clean and guests fed behind the scenes. They, in some ways, provide the substance to the experience.
A church organization, similarly, ought to prioritize an excellent execution of the back of the house just as it does the front of the house to ensure that the congregation is cared for every step of the way. You might find our free guide to creating your church's volunteer agreements and job descriptions helpful as you shape these roles.
Here are three things to look for in these invaluable "back of the house" volunteers:
1. Loyalty To The Church's Mission
"Back of the house" volunteers are the ones who run the sound, the cameras, and keep facilities clean. They count your offering, protect the campus, and check-in your kids to their own services. These are the people who you trust with the life of the church.
The length of time these volunteers have remained loyal members of the church speaks volumes to their trustworthiness. They should know the DNA of your church and its vision. Campus support protects the congregation and watches out for their safety. Facility volunteers keep restrooms clean and stocked. Children's volunteers go above and beyond to make sure every child is safe.
These are jobs that are behind the scenes but are crucial to the day-to-day operations of the church. Be sure you have volunteers you trust in these roles.
2. A Growing Personal Faith
Integrity and character are incredibly important when handing the keys over to individuals and entrusting them with significant responsibilities. Even if the role is behind the scenes and not directly teaching or preaching, make spiritual maturity a priority when develping your volunteers. Everyone is in a different place in their spiritual journey, but be sure to check in with your volunteers regularly about how you can help disciple them and guide them toward a deeper relationship with God.
A church’s ultimate mission is to live out an extension of God’s greater mission, so its volunteers should be personally devoted to both the church's mission and God's greater mission.
Great volunteers are healthy people that know themselves well. When you're recruiting or placing a volunteer, ask them what types of jobs or roles have energized them in the past. Or more importantly, what types of jobs or roles have drained their energy?
As a leader in your church, also be careful not to only approach extroverted folks when recruiting volunteers. Be intentional about approaching people of diverse gifts, skill sets, and personality types, as we're all needed to fully live out the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12).
More introverted folks might be hesitant to volunteer for the greeting team, but they might be thrilled to volunteer on the set-up team or the follow-up team where they can interact with people 1:1.
Of course, there is no clear-cut role that is solely designated to introverts or extroverts. This is simply a generalization to help you recognize and appreciate the various personality types that you may have serving on your volunteer team.
We say often that volunteers are the lifeblood of your church. Because of this, it is crucial to have the right people in the right spots.
What characteristics would you look for in back of the house volunteers?