How To Build Your Volunteer Base This Christmas


For every church staff member serving during your Christmas services and activities, there are also dozens of volunteers working on both the front lines and behind-the-scenes.

Here are 3 tips to make this year one of the most memorable ones ever for your volunteers and to keep them coming back to serve in your church community in the New Year.

1. Make serving simple.

Be sure to provide volunteer opportunities that don't require a lot of preparation as “first serve” options for people who want to be a part of your holiday experience. These are perfect for someone to step in and add immediate value, and it helps new volunteers feel like they can contribute and are a part of the team.

One of the most detrimental things you can do is to invite a new volunteer to serve and then give them nothing of value to do or require too much preparation. Especially during the holidays this is important to remember.

"Time is a scarce commodity during this season, so when someone is willing to give it to you, you should honor it by allowing them to contribute in a meaningful way." [tweet this]

One practical tip is to create simple cards for each volunteer position with clear goals and instructions that will help your volunteer know what is expected of them. They’ll know what they are doing and will feel like they are adding value to your Christmas outreach and contributing to the overall vision of your church.

2. Make serving family-oriented.

Holidays are synonymous with family time. Christmas services are the perfect time to get families serving together. Think about places in all of your ministries that both adult and children could work together toward the mission of your church. Where could children give of their time together with their parents? Consider areas such as greeting and first impressions for younger kids to serve with their parents. Older children and youth can play a vital part in helping with the younger children’s programming areas. When families volunteer together, it can provide them with an unforgettable Christmas experience.

3. Make serving fun.

"One of the most important things you can do for your volunteers, especially during the holiday season, is to have fun and honor them." [tweet this]

Consider creating a central area dedicated to your volunteers with food, music, and treats for your volunteers to relax between shifts. If people are working outside – such as in a parking lot ministry – have some volunteer “elves” take them hot chocolate to keep their spirits up and insides warm. Some serving teams enjoy a coordinated team wardrobe like matching scarves, red shirts, or other items to show their Christmas and volunteer team spirit.

Finally, consider a special thank you gift for your key volunteers to show your appreciation, for example, an item that commemorates the event – an engraved ornament, mug, etc. Most importantly, a word of thank you or handshake from the pastor or leadership team validates their sacrifice and will create a memorable serving-experience.

Promote community and a culture of service in your church this Christmas season by encouraging your volunteers to come early and stay late in your volunteer central area.

"A positive, one-time, holiday serving experience can pay dividends for future volunteer recruiting and retaining." [tweet this]

What other ideas do you have to make the Christmas season a rewarding experience for volunteers?

If you like this, then you’ll also like 5 Ways For Your Church Staff To Take Advantage Of The Holidays

Christmas Eve Service Planning Checklist for Churches Church Staffs