Volunteers are the life force behind any successful church. Without them, not much of anything could happen. While having staff is great, I am not aware of any churches that survive solely on the use of paid staff members. With this immense need for volunteers, it’s important to show them that you acknowledge their sacrifice of time. I’m aware that they are giving it to the Lord as an offering, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for them. A happy, appreciated team gets much more accomplished than one that’s run out of guilt and pressure.
This Christmas Season, make sure you go out of your way to encourage those that serve so faithfully along side of you.
Everyone works better when there is food involved. Plan a hospitality area for the team and include their families if you can. Christmas Eve services require a lot more of a time commitment than the average weekend, usually covering dinnertime. Having a place to grab a soda (Pop, Coke, whatever you call it) and a snack goes a long way to keeping volunteers happy. There is no right or wrong way to setup a hospitality area, just make sure to pamper your volunteers. It really is more the thought that counts (and cookies).
Communicate early, and often. Just like with rehearsals, volunteers are not always in all the meetings leading up to the service. You have to continually bring them into the loop. A well informed volunteer is much more effective, and may even think of an overlooked area. As soon as I have times for the Christmas services (usually sometime in August or September), I send out my first round of emails letting the group know; that way they can begin looking at their schedules and planning to serve.
Respect Their Time
Volunteers have families, jobs, and other commitments. Christmas is a huge ask, so look for ways to lessen the load for them. One idea is to split serving opportunities when possible. I divide our camera operators up between the services: as long as the video director is on their game, and the camera op has been part of a rehearsal or run through we tend to have very few mistakes.
Most of the time, volunteers will bend over backwards for you if you treat them right. Make sure you’re loving on them extra this season.
In an effort to respect your time I purposely kept this post short. Join the conversation though and share if you’re doing something special to honor your volunteers this year.