finding volunteers is hard work.
finding great volunteers is harder work.
keeping great volunteers is heart work.
Practically speaking, it’s good to look for people that are interested in your particular area. You can ascertain this by doing surveys, posting information and sending messages out to your population alerting them to the opportunities of service in your area of ministry. Or…. you can get really intentional about finding the best people for you servant leadership opportunities.
some places you’ve probably already thought to look:
•people that are already serving somewhere else (but this could get you in trouble with your partners in ministry, if you hijack their people)
•people with an interest in your age group (i.e. middle school kid=middle school parent volunteer)
•people that you talk to every day
•your friends on facebook
places you may have not thought to look:
•people that your friends know, but you don’t. i had a conversation yesterday with a volunteer who is “taking a break”. she said not to make her feel guilty. i said that i dont want her to feel guilty, i want her to help me find more people that want to serve. i enlisted her to recreate herself. i gave her a way to make a change without skulking out with her head hung low.
•people that do what you are looking for in their professional lives (i.e. if you need a coordinator, a project manager would be an ideal candidate, even though they might not think they are equipped; if you need an actor, ask around and find out who starred in their schools’ productions)
•linked-in – linked-in is a networking tool for business people, essentially, however, it gives you an opportunity to read the resumes of the people you locate. this is a great way to find out what people are good at. ( I have a volunteer who owns a concrete company, this tells me that the next time i have a building project, this guy or people that he knows will have the skill sets and the abilities required to pull it off)
•senior adult ministry – these are people that have experienced life and have seen what works and doesn’t. in many cases that have been captains of industry or home ec afficianados. dont miss this valuable volunteer resource (and more than just for greeting)
some criteria for identifying a great volunteer:
•they are on time
•they are faithful to fulfill their commitments
•they truly find joy in the serving
•they do not grumble
•they do not create division or strife
•they are well meaning and supportive of leadership and programming (if they are not supportive, you do not need them, they will tear your ministry down)
•they are respectful of the authority God has placed on you as a leader and submit to that leadership
•they bring energy and love to the spaces they infiltrate.
some criteria for identifying a great leader:
•you are on time
•you are faithful to uphold your commitments (you deliver things on time to volunteers)
•you find joy in serving alongside other Christ-followers
•you do not grumble
•you do not create division or strife
•you are worthy of volunteer support and a good steward of their time.
•you carry the authority that God has given you with great humility.
•you bring energy and love to the spaces you infiltrate.
to keep great volunteers you have to show them you love them. you have to help them make the best of their talents. you have to give them a chance at success. you have to encourage and communicate with them. you have to love them. you know what makes you feel loved, figure out what makes them feel loved and do it.
if you do this, they will be there with you through it all.
constantly be looking for ways to duplicate yourself and train your volunteer servant leaders to do the same.
never forget, we carry an eternal message. we are charged with the task of sharing the greatest story ever told. we are allowed to be part of someone’s path to eternity. never forget that its about pointing others to Christ.