How Leaders Of Multisite Churches Can Build Relationships With Volunteers
By: Nicole Cochran January 30, 2017
If you're the leader of a multisite church, it can be much more difficult to get to know your volunteers. Your responsibilities may be greater, and you’re stretched even thinner - possibly even having to drive between campuses. Yet, even though it may be more difficult, it remains just as important to get to know the people serving in your ministry.
So how do you do this? Here are a few ideas:
1. Host volunteer gatherings
One of the best ways to get to know your volunteers well is to bring them all into one place together. This helps them get to know one another, as well as letting you spend more time with them all at once.
Community gatherings can be simple fellowship times with dinner and conversation, or they can be slightly more structured with some sort of activity, such as game night. Whatever you choose to do, spending time with your volunteers outside of the normal “volunteer time” will build friendships and partnerships, strengthening your relationships and ministry alike.
2. Mentoring And/Or Small Groups
Helping to facilitate relationships between volunteers through mentorship programs will create a strong foundation for those spending their time serving. As a key leader in the ministry, you may not feel that you have time to participate in this, however, it is incredibly beneficial for you to engage in one-on-one interactions with key volunteers. It will better equip these partners in ministry to more effectively serve and lead.
Depending on your church and your ministry, placing key volunteers in positions of mentorship can encourage other volunteers to continue serving and invest more deeply into the ministry. If your volunteers feel connected and like they are a vital part of the ministry, they will want to keep coming back!
If your volunteers feel like they are a vital part of the ministry, they will want to keep coming back!
3. Make Your Presence Known
This may sound a little self-important, but volunteers will feel more attached to the ministry if they see your face around occasionally. Having multiple campuses can make this a bit more tricky to manage; however, the payback will be huge. Volunteers will know that you care and are invested in the success of the ministry, and they'll feel that you have their backs.
Being a multisite church, it’s likely that there are other staff or key volunteers helping run the ministry and programming at the different campuses. If each campus has different volunteer trainings and events, spend quality time at each campus. Again, the simple act of being present will make your volunteers feel more connected and appreciated.
4. Build Your Team Wisely
Your ministry is often seen as a reflection of you and your vision. This means that those reporting to you and working with you directly reflect your leadership. Don’t hand out key roles without time and thought. Make sure that your associates are people you trust - trust to effectively implement the vision, uphold the church values, and invest fully into the ministry. These other staff members or volunteers should have your back.
Sometimes it’s easy to try to recruit as many volunteers to serve in your ministry as possible. While numbers are important, quality and commitment are not to be overlooked. Invest in volunteers who have continued serving year after year, and invest in volunteers who have just jumped in. Your investment will breed engagement and dependability.
Getting to know your volunteers is a small act with endless rewards. Though multisites sometimes make it tougher, the return will be greater for you, for your ministry, and for those serving.
What other ways have you found to engage your volunteers?