Go Beyond Volunteer Scheduling: Create a Culture of Service

How can you create a culture of service at your church? Beyond recruiting, engaging, and scheduling volunteers, it’s important to ensure that service is embedded in the life of your church. Try implementing some of the following ideas when deciding how to help church members see service as the norm.

Give examples

One way to guarantee service stays at the core of your culture is to provide regular examples of those who have served. Utilize regular communication media, like newsletters, special services, social media, and bulletins to share quick spotlights of inspirational figures.

Look for examples from different sources, including heroes of the faith, members of your own church, and individuals in the community. Find ways to share who they are, how they served, and what the results of their actions were.

Share benefits

Most people know they should give back in one way or another, but not everyone understands the tangible and intangible benefits of their actions. Cut through the confusion by communicating how volunteer service is beneficial.

Will a Saturday spent at church sprucing up the grounds or addressing minor maintenance needs save the church money? Share the approximate dollar value of each hour of volunteer time. Have you read an article about how volunteering improves one’s health? Send it to parishioners so they can see how service can improve their own wellbeing.

When you make it clear what the outcome of service could be, you may find more individuals willing to pitch in on a regular basis.

Define opportunities

If you’ve grown up in the church, you may already be familiar with what types of service opportunities are available, but this isn’t true for everyone. For many, unless the needs are clearly defined, they may never know how to connect their abilities with the needs of the church.

Start by designating a person who can answer prospective volunteers’ questions. Is there a pastor, deacon, or director who connects individuals to service opportunities? Be sure that person’s name, photo, and contact information are readily available for those who wish to get involved.

Next, have opportunities written down with details like what days the service is needed, how many hours per week the service will take, and what skills would be required, if any.

Lastly, communicate how individuals can become more involved in service. Do you have an online registration form? Should volunteers sign up at certain times? Make the process for getting involved crystal clear to prevent any roadblocks to serving.

Recognize volunteers

Another way to create a culture of service is to show appreciation to volunteers at your church. By recognizing those who already give of their time and talents, more individuals may jump in to connect with similar opportunities, especially when they know their efforts won’t go unnoticed.

Post volunteer highlights in your communication pieces or plan an appreciation dinner for volunteers. You can also create a “wall of service” with details like volunteer photos, service titles, and years of service. Post candid photos of service days and volunteers going about their regular duties to make sure service is seen as an accessible opportunity for all.

Do you strive to ensure that the culture of your church is built on the foundation of service? If so, share your strategies in the comments below and help others find out how to encourage service in their church.