Different Ways to Schedule Your Volunteers

One of the most exciting things about participating in a church community is the diversity of the gifts that each volunteer brings. Many different unique skill sets come together to fuel a church’s mission week after week. However, coordinating and managing all of these skill sets can be a challenge! We know from personal experience the tremendous responsibility placed on a scheduler to coordinate the requests, needs, and preferences for every volunteer: doing your best to encourage participation, be respectful of each individual’s time, empower those who want to go above and beyond, and create opportunities for new volunteers to step into roles. There is no one-size-fits-all scheduling solution that will meet everyone's needs or expectations. That's why your scheduling shouldn't be a cookie-cutter process!

Here are four of the most popular scheduling methods that you can use individually or in combination with each other, to create a volunteer schedule for your church.

Manual Handpicking of Volunteers
The most basic scheduling process, and the one most schedulers start with, is to manually select volunteers to fill each role. This process works best when you have only a few ministry positions that need to be filled, a small number of volunteers, or specific and unique skill set needs. Most schedulers find that as their ministries grow, manually handpicking volunteers becomes too time-consuming when keeping track of each volunteer’s specific preferences or availability. This is why this process is best used for small services, when you have niche needs, or in conjunction with other scheduling processes.

Ministry Scheduler Pro can help improve your manual scheduling process by highlighting eligible volunteers based on preferences and availability. If you only have a few volunteers or roles to manually schedule, you can streamline this process even further by letting Ministry Scheduler Pro fill in the remaining positions with one or more of the following scheduling methods!

Repeating Assignments
You might have volunteers that prefer a consistent schedule, such as the first Sunday of every month. Repeating assignments can make it easier for volunteers to remember their schedule, and for the scheduler to focus their time only on filling the remaining empty positions. Repeating assignments may also be beneficial for groups or teams serving together, so it is easy to communicate the schedule.

With Ministry Scheduler Pro, you can set up repeating assignments for individuals or groups that will pre-populate into each new schedule automatically, so you’ll see which roles and services times have already been assigned. Plus, Ministry Scheduler Pro lets you effortlessly turn any manual assignment into a repeating one right from within the schedule, to reduce the amount of manual assignments you need to make next time!

Additionally, if a volunteer is not available for their repeating assignment, Ministry Scheduler Pro makes it easy for them to request a substitute or swap with another volunteer right from the mobile app or Web Terminal!

Auto Scheduling
Auto scheduling is a powerful scheduling method, and Ministry Scheduler Pro contains the most sophisticated auto-scheduling tool available for churches! Some people think auto-scheduling means just randomly selecting available volunteers and inputting them into any available position. However, Ministry Scheduler Pro’s auto-scheduling algorithm takes into consideration hundreds of factors, such as ministry qualifications, service preferences, family groupings, and historical scheduling data, to ensure assignments are distributed fairly! Auto-scheduling with Ministry Scheduler Pro takes only a few minutes to complete, and can help save your scheduler days of additional work! Don’t believe us? Download our 30-day free trial and see how auto-scheduling works for yourself!

Self Signup
Even with a variety of scheduling methods to choose from, there may still be times when it makes the most sense to allow your volunteers to sign up on their own. Whether you are allowing people to choose a holiday service to serve at, or trying to fill remaining unfilled positions, self signup gives volunteers the freedom to take on additional positions at their choosing.

Ministry Scheduler Pro makes it easy to publish schedules that let volunteers sign up on their own or encourage new volunteers to sign up for new or special service times, all online or right from their smartphone. You can even send your volunteers an email or text message with a list of available positions to choose from!

No matter which scheduling process you use, or which combination, Ministry Scheduler Pro lets you schedule your volunteers quickly, fairly, and based on the volunteers individual schedule, preferences, and ministry qualifications. If you’d like to see how Ministry Scheduler Pro can help your scheduling process, sign up for our free 30-day, no credit card required trial here! Our scheduling experts can help you decide which method is right for your church, outline how Ministry Scheduler Pro works, and help you put together your first schedule!