Church volunteers are the lifeblood of the ministries and events at your church. Without them, certain things just wouldn’t happen, especially during the busy holiday season. While the holidays are an exciting time, they can also be stressful. Whether it’s planning events to celebrate the birth of Christ or simply ensuring that everything runs smoothly on a Sunday morning, you need volunteers to make it all happen. However, recruiting and managing church volunteers can feel overwhelming.
So, just how do you manage church volunteers during the holidays? How do you recruit the right people and ensure that tasks are being completed? Take a deep breath, because we’ve got your back.
Tips for Managing Church Christmas Volunteers
The first step in managing church volunteers is setting goals. Know ahead of time what your expectations are as far as the number of volunteers, communication, tasks, and more. For example, start by answering the following questions:
- How often do you want to communicate with volunteers?
- How many volunteers do you want to sign-up and how many people do you want to show up to your Christmas event?
- How many emails do you want to send post-event to thank your volunteers?
- In what ways do you want to recruit volunteers (i.e. pulpit, bulletin, website, etc.)?
Consider setting goals that center on these questions so that you can examine the success of your Christmas events once they are over.
Pro-Tip: Customize your church health dashboard in your church management software to track your progress and monitor your goals.
Streamline Volunteer Scheduling
Asking people over and over to volunteer can be exhausting, both for you and for the people being asked. No one likes a broken record. Praise be for the method of streamlining volunteers.
Send reminders before your big Christmas event so volunteers will remember their commitment. By sending a reminder to your volunteers, they either remember they signed up to volunteer or remember to tell you they won’t be able to make it. If you receive a message saying they can’t make it, then you have the ability to search for other volunteers days before the event rather than at a chaotic last-minute moment.
Pro-Tip: The new volunteer scheduling feature from Elexio will be your new best friend when it comes to streamlining processes. Easily send reminders, optimize requests, and more.
Training volunteers to do the job you’re asking them to do is a huge step in equipping and keeping volunteers around. If you are asking people to sign up for a need that has very specific guidelines, such as the media team at church, schedule a media training night and ask anyone and everyone who wants to join that team to show up. Training them beforehand helps empower them when they show up, which makes them want to keep volunteering the next time you ask.
Pro-Tip: In your ChMS, send out a reminder before training dates. Volunteers can then directly respond to that email to let you know if they are coming or not.
Be strategic with your requests. If you’re concerned too many volunteers will sign up for a task, be selective. Rather than send a mass email to all those who have ever volunteered, choose only qualified volunteers and only send an email to them. Bonus, you can also limit the number of responses you get so you don’t have to waste time sifting through a ton of emails. Let your church management software work for you, not the other way around.
Pro-Tip: This is really only possible with a ChMS. Learn how volunteer scheduling makes this a breeze.
Follow Up with Church Christmas Volunteers
Often churches forget their volunteers and the work they do after the event has passed. Nothing hurts someone like being forgotten. Be sure to follow up with your volunteers after the event to thank them for the work they did. It can be as elaborate as giving volunteers a gift or token of appreciation, or it can be as simple as putting a “Volunteer Spotlight” in the bulletin for the week that thanks each church volunteer for their hard work at your holiday event.
Pro-Tip: Set up a workflow that automatically thanks volunteers after your event.
Don’t stress about church volunteer management this holiday season. Make it easy on yourself with an Elexio free trial.