The Big List of Church Volunteer Opportunities

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Volunteering is a great way to get plugged into your church, feel like part of a community, and serve Jesus at the same time.

God has uniquely equipped every person in the Church with specific skills and gifts. As Christians, we are tasked with utilizing these gifts in our community and within our local church. Using your God-given skills as a volunteer is a fantastic way to serve the church while simultaneously lightening the load of a church’s staff.

Volunteering has a spiritual benefit as well. By volunteering, an individual will often want to dive deeper into the life of the church. At the same time, they serve not only as a helping hand, but also as a witness of the Gospel message within the community.

However, while many may want to give of their time, it can be difficult to align schedules and balance other obligations. So while the desire to volunteer may exist, people often run into roadblocks that prevent them from giving of their time.

Many people travel for work, others live far from their church, and some have families who claim their time during the week. And everyone has unique God-given gifts. So it's critical for churches to be inclusive and provide a variety of opportunities to volunteer.

That's why we've put together a comprehensive list of different volunteer opportunities for your church that will help engage your congregation in creative ways. We've divided them into 5 categories to help you determine what might work best at your church:

1. Holiday or special event opportunities

2. Family-oriented opportunities

3. Short-term commitment

4. Specific positions for key needs

5. Outside the box 

Let's dive in!

1. Holiday Or Special Event Opportunities

One-time events are ideal volunteer opportunities for those whose busy schedules don’t allow them to commit weekly. Christmas and Easter services tend to take more hands to pull together all the details, and numerous volunteers are needed. Normal Sunday volunteer roles are multiplied; more greeters, more children’s ministry volunteers, and more parking attendants.

Here are a few roles you could implement for holidays or special events:

  • Fellowship volunteer: have this person pick up donuts, snacks, or bake cookies, and prepare coffee for a table at the front of the event. Great opportunities for this are at Christmas services, Easter services, special events, or group meetings.

  • Carnival volunteer: have someone volunteer to set up or tear down games, run a face painting booth, or host a table of crafts.

  • Handyman: know a dad or granddad (or lady!) who is great with a hammer? Put them to work building things, helping with set designs for special holiday programs.

  • Set up and tear down: this person is particularly vital if you are a portable church, but you will always need someone to fold up chairs and direct others where they go or reorganizing rows of chairs into the right order. This person could also make sure all the technical parts are put away and secured.

  • Children’s ministry holiday volunteer: this person could help organize holiday parties, make valentines or halloween treats, find creative holiday themed programming for Sunday school or church preschool classes, help make laminated or cutout projects, organize supplies and colored paper, and so much more.

  • Organizer for Christmas child boxes: Operation Christmas Child is a fantastic way to get little kids excited about being generous during the holidays. This person could set up a way for people to get assigned to a box, turn it in, make sure all the pieces are correctly submitted and coordinate mailing them off. This person could also do similar volunteering roles with an Angel Tree or caring for a specific family or coordinating with a homeless shelter to bless a family during the holidays. Another great way to do this is to organize a “Christmas in a box” - including presents, dry goods/ingredients for a Christmas dinner, ornaments, lights, and a small faux tree to deliver to someone who otherwise wouldn’t have a Christmas.

  • Organizer for holiday military care packages: deployed servicemen and women are appreciative of care packages, especially at the holidays. Have someone coordinate and organize supplies, packing, shipping, and all the details to keep track of who and where to send it, and what you can and can’t send. This could be several volunteer roles, too.

  • Christmas decorating volunteer: include someone who has a great taste for design and decor in decorating and trimming the entire church with Christmas cheer!

  • Easter egg hunt egg stuffer volunteer: this person is vital to a successful egg hunt. Several volunteers could make a great assembly line of stuffing candy and treats into plastic eggs.

  • Children’s Christmas program/play director volunteer: designate your theater teacher/play director/actor/actress at your church to pull off the best Christmas Pageant ever.

Other special events that your church puts on will all take many hands to pull off. You might be surprised who will step up to volunteer when they can commit just a few hours.

2. Family-Oriented Volunteer Opportunities

Opportunities that invite the whole family to join in will allow those with young children to serve alongside teens and their parents. Whether it’s inviting whole families to greet on Sunday mornings, or intentionally creating outreach projects for families of all ages, these opportunities will help to include those who might not be able to commit to other volunteer projects.

This might involve entire family-friendly mission trips: everyone can do something, whether that’s building walls, pulling weeds, or serving dinner at the end of the day. Regardless of capability, age, or experience, there’s always a job for everyone.

Family oriented volunteer opportunities - or really any volunteer opportunity - don't have to be limited to only Sundays and Wednesdays. Try incorporating weekday or weeknight opportunities to serve and you may just find a whole new set of ready and willing volunteers.

  • Shut in communion ministry: this is a really cool opportunity to bring a little of the church service to someone who can’t physically make it to church. As a family, you could talk to your communion team at church who will equip you with juice, bread, and maybe even a short liturgy to go.

  • Volunteer to take cards to a nursing home: Kids can make cards and pictures/drawings to share with folks at a nursing home. Your visit and something to hang on their wall will stay with them a long time after you leave.

  • Pet therapy volunteer: if you have a qualified pet, get involved in visiting those in your congregation that are in a nursing home or assisted living. Kids and cute pets will always brighten someone’s day and share Jesus' love.

  • Volunteering at a food bank or clothes closet: kids and parents alike can help sort clothes and pack or assemble food kits.

  • Have a one-day mission trip in your community and do some yard work: raking leaves, picking up sticks, mowing grass, planting flowers or plants, repainting buildings, etc.

  • Volunteering during church wide “mission week”: Lots of churches have a church-wide mission driven initiative to get everyone involved in short term mission projects around their community. There are tons of roles under this umbrella:

    • Volunteer as a family to read a scripture passage and light an Advent candle

    • Collect unused make-up, perfume and other cosmetics, as well as clothes and shoes, for a center for abused women – this small gesture can mean the world them. They can dress up with the clothes and makeup which will help them feel better for the holidays.

    • Distribute leaf bags during the fall – this will encourage residents to clean leaves from their streets and yards. If it’s snowing where you are, offer to clean an elderly or sick neighbor’s driveway after the snowfall.

    • Read a book to someone who is not able to – this one is also for older kids. Are there people in the local seniors’ home who are blind or have other disabilities so that they are not able to read? You can bring some joy into their lives, by reading a book to them.

    • Put together hygiene kits to pass out to the local homeless shelters – you can request donation in your community of mini soaps and shampoos and other things like hand sanitizer and tissue. Get your friends and family involved to make an assembly line to get them done faster.

3. Short-Term Commitment

Many opportunities to serve require a long-term commitment. Serving communion, reading scripture, and having an “extras” list for Children’s classes are all great opportunities to invite new volunteers to join. However, it can often feel intimidating to commit to a team setting with no limit on how long someone might serve. Brainstorm ways to invite volunteers into large and small spaces or activities, places that they can use their gifts to glorify God but in a way that is sustainable for them.

  • Usher: Especially great for more traditional churches, this person could help people find their seats, especially if they came in late and are nervous about finding a place to sit without disrupting the service. This person could also be in charge of bulletins, devices for hearing assistance, collection plates, and giving a cue to an acolyte to head down the aisle.

  • Greeter: Post someone at the front door with a smile and a name badge that says “here to help!” It’s the ultimate welcome and good morning to have someone open the door for you and ask you how you are.

  • Connection table: this person is ready to answer questions about small groups, community groups, service times, where and how to give, how to serve, and more. This volunteer is crucial to helping visitors and members take the next step on their journey toward discipleship.

  • Kid’s check-in volunteer: Designate someone to run an iPad or table to check kids in to Sunday school or childcare services to make sure they children's area is safe and secure.

  • Coffee ministry: this is often the first table people stop at on their way into church. Have someone ready to make coffee, refill coffee, and make sure the coffee is full and hot before every service.

  • Roaming greeter: this person plays a key role. They are roaming around the sanctuary intentionally looking for newcomers, first-time visitors, or people sitting by themselves. If it’s your first day at a new church, there’s nothing more intimidating than sitting by yourself as people mill around and chat before the service starts. A friendly face is a new friend and an immediate point of connection and inclusion, especially if you have discipleship or new member structures to introduce people to community groups or membership at the church.

  • Parking volunteer: Park (pun intended) someone in the parking lot to direct cars to park in the most efficient manner, and designate another member to have an umbrella on the sidewalk to accompany people if the weather is bad. Another idea is to create a “parking ministry” to facilitate the opportunity for members to either pick up, drop off, or carpool with other church members. They can even drive a golf cart from the parking lot to the front door in bad weather or if someone needs assistance walking.

  • Security volunteer: this person has a simple but important job. If you have a lot of entrances and lots of kids running around, this person stands guard at the door (or doors) and makes sure no kids escape, and that anyone coming in is supposed to be there. This is especially relevant if you live in a big city or in a neighborhood where you might have lots of people who aren’t regular members. They also act as first person to call if there is an emergency.

  • Communion volunteer:  Perhaps you could wait until Sunday morning to ask someone to help serve communion. They may not be able to commit to a particular schedule, but if they are already there, they will most likely be willing. This person could also make sure the bread is broken into pieces and juice is restocked for each service, and the cups and trays are collected and cleaned.

  • Breakfast team: You may ask this person the night before Sunday to pick up or organize breakfast for the worship band or any volunteers or staff that have to get there early on Sundays and stay for most of the day. If your church has the budget for it, you could even arm this person with a gift card and tell them to pick up breakfast tacos or donuts specifically for the early morning teams.

4. Create specific volunteer positions for key needs

There are likely some volunteer opportunities that you don’t have yet because you may not have needed or thought of them yet. Thinking through ways to find volunteer positions for unique positions can help you expand your volunteer base and give people with unique skill sets a chance to jump in.

  • Disaster Response Coordinator: This person  would oversee all volunteer efforts that pertain to the crisis, like home repairs and temporary shelters, as well as overseeing supply and donation coordination. If a tragedy strikes your community, the Body of Christ should be on the front lines of offering hope and healing to those impacted. In a time of crisis, the church needs to be proactive, not reactive. Good fits would be former or current first responders, military professionals, event planners, or public safety officials.

  • Stewardship Director: This could easily transition into a full-time role if needed. Stewardship of your church’s resources is vital, and so is the stewardship of its personal finances. The Stewardship Director would be a trusted advisor to the church and the congregants, with experience and expertise to lead the “business side” of the church with major financial decisions and debt management. Good fits would be financial planners, investment professionals, banking executives, and retirement planning experts.  

  • Community Liaison: This role would be the eyes and ears of the church in the community. We often hear stories of churches that are full of people ready and willing to serve their community, but simply lack the knowledge of where to start. This person would network with public officials to stay in touch with current needs in the community, or connect with local clubs, scouting organizations, and nonprofits to create partnerships in supporting the community.  When a need arises, this person should coordinate and provide volunteers with opportunities to serve the community. He/she should also find and organize resources that are needed within the community. Who would be a good fit? Retirees, local entrepreneurs, retired city officials, and community organizers.

5. Think outside the box

Don’t be afraid to get creative with these types of opportunities. These opportunities may require some of out the box thinking, but they’re likely to end up as special volunteer roles that emphasize the unique strengths of your congregation.

  • Know someone who is a great baker? Have them bake the communion bread. This is a low-key way to get someone involved creatively using their unique gifts, and it is also low-key commitment that may get them thinking of more ways they’d like to be involved.

  • Is your church located in a ESL community? Find someone who is gifted in linguistics and have them teach an English bible study or class to help reach non-native English speakers in the church.

  • Are there other kinds of artists in your church body? Technical/AV gifted members in your congregation could help with lights and videos during worship.

  • Photographers, painters, sculptors, and other visual artists could display their work in the halls of the church

  • Photographers could also lend their creative eye to taking pictures for baptisms or events. Think beyond the worship band and see how you can utilize other creative skills that are represented in your church community.

  • You may find a need for a new fitness class taught by a qualified fitness instructor to create fellowship and friendship through working out.

  • Pastoral care roles with counseling, phone calls, home visits and more are another great way to get those who love to sit and visit or pray with people involved. It is also a great way to take a burden off the pastoral clergy staff at the same time.

  • Start a Military Ministry and have a volunteer organize events, specially focused small groups or support groups, and parent’s night outs for single parents of military spouses. A great fit for this would be a retired military couple or even a younger couple who has already experienced these unique seasons of life.

  • Similar to the Military Ministry, you could also start a single parent ministry and have volunteers organize a babysitting directory, fun kid-friendly events, support groups, and more.

  • Church office volunteers: sometimes the most cheerful part of a visit to a church during the middle of the week is the smiling volunteer answering the phones and helping coordinate all the day-to-day office activities of the church office.

  • Bulletin folding volunteer: if you don’t already get your bulletins folded, this is a great job for a team of volunteers. They could stock the sanctuary with Sunday bulletins and make sure all the pew cards are restocked.

  • Marriage mentoring: this is a great volunteer opportunity for a married couple, maybe a retired couple, to share some wisdom with newly married or engaged couples. This will create friendships and mentorships to last a lifetime. They could also organize a list of books and resources your church recommends for marriage and relationship enrichment and growth.

  • Meal ministry: have someone coordinate an ongoing calendar of people in the hospital, having surgery or babies, and delegate to others to make meals, deliver food, and make sure they are cared for well while they’re focused on other things.

  • Church van and bus ministry: You could have these volunteers take the buses and vans for regular maintenance, make sure they have gas, etc. This could also include golf carts if applicable.

  • ASL interpreter for services: if you have someone in your church who speaks sign language, this is a great way to bless those in your congregation who are deaf or handicapped.

  • Mercy Ministry Team: This person could walk alongside individuals from the community who approach the church for benevolence.

  • Special Needs Buddy: This person could  provide one-on-one or small group assistance, support and friendship to a child with a special need in an inclusive class setting.

Utilizing volunteers in a variety of roles is vital not only for a church and its growth, but also an important way to connect with your congregation. By having a wide range of opportunities, your church will have a better chance of connecting with people who cannot make a consistent commitment or may be struggling to find the best way to utilize their gifts.

What volunteer opportunities are we missing? Leave your ideas in the comment section below.

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