Have you ever stopped to think about why people choose to volunteer their time at a local church? After all, time is valuable and people are busy.

What would lead someone to give a few hours of their week to a local church? Here are seven possible reasons.

#1 – People volunteer because they believe in the purpose and mission of your church. They want to see done the very thing you’re trying to do. They are bought into the vision and they want it to happen.  And remember, purpose is long-term and mission is short-term.  Read about the important distinction here.

Does your church have a compelling mission and purpose? 

#2 – People volunteer because they see a need and want to help meet that need.  Some people serve because of a big vision, but many others decide to help because they see a need. That’s why we’ve got to cast vision and communicate needs.

Are you commenting new and specific opportunities to serve?

#3 – People volunteer because they want to be involved in something. There’s something deep in the heart of most people that want to be a part of something that’s bigger than their everyday lives. They know there’s something next.

Are you casting a vision for serving that’s bigger than the opportunity itself?

#4 – People volunteer because they are invited to do so. This sounds simple at first, but it’s really important. Sometimes people will see a need and just jump in. But most of the time, people need to be asked to do something specific.  Stage announcements might not be the most effective way to invite someone into a new role.

Are you personally asking people to serve, or are you just relying on announcements and emails?

#5 – People volunteer because they see how their personal involvement makes a difference. When we say “they want to make a difference” we tend to emphasize the word “difference.” But change the emphasis to the word “they” and you’ll tap into this deep reason.

Are you telling stories and saying thanks on a weekly basis?

#6 – People volunteer because they believe in you personally and want you to be successful. There are some people in the church who will do just about anything just because you’re asking. They care about and are committed to you personally. They want to work with you, so that’s why they serve.

Are you making serving personal in your church?

#7 – People volunteer because they love working with other people. Peer pressure is a powerful thing. People really do enjoy what they do to a greater degree when they love the people they are doing it with. That’s why it’s important to let your volunteers have fun together.  Here are some other ways to keep volunteers engaged.

Do you provide space for people to enjoy one another’s company or is it all about the work?

So What’s Next?

How do you take the stuff in this post and put legs on it? From someone who used to be a pastor and church planter, I know it can be frustrating to implement.

We know you care deeply about leading a healthy growing church because it means leading more people to Jesus. Leading volunteers is an integral part of that process so everyone can spend time on what they’re best at. That’s why we created a free guide to leading volunteers that will bring clarity and help begin to alleviate your frustrations.

Get your FREE copy of the Senior Pastor’s Guide to Leading Volunteers today by entering your name and email below.

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