Volunteers – Wash, Rinse, Repeat !!!

In our role as AV consultants and integrators for Churches across Southern Ontario we are constantly being introduced to creative ways in which the various Churches we come in contact with operate their ministries.  And without singling one Church out specifically, I wanted to share with you an idea I came across a few months ago.

One thing that is consistent among many of the Churches we visit is the need to engage members of our congregations to participate in helping with activities, tasks, programs, charities and events that inevitably require individuals to volunteer their time to help with.  And while there are a great number of dedicated volunteers doing great work in our Churches, I think it can also be said that there are always other individuals who are not currently as engaged as we might hope they might be for a number of different reasons both personal and practical.

So yes, we would all like to have as many people in our Church communities involved in the the great works we do for God and within our communities.  The old adage “many hands make light work” comes to mind.  I might also reference the 80/20 rule (referred to as the Pareto principle), which suggests that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.  So how do we get better buy in, and where to start.

Well for one Church I came across the “where to start”, comes quite simply from them knowing who their congregation is.  Because if you do not know who your congregation is, how can you expect to know who has what skills, who has what interests, and how someone might want to serve.  So as a regular part of what this Church does, they have a one-page questionnaire which asks their congregation a few simple questions (which could be different for different Churches):

  1. Who Are You {and how should we contact you)
  2. Do you like working with {children, youth, adults, elderly}
  3. When would you like to serve {Sunday Mornings (before, during or after service) or Weekdays (mornings, afternoons, evenings)}
  4. What Sounds Good to You?
    • Youth Ministry
    • Children’s Ministry
    • Office Work
    • Grass Cutting
    • Prayer Group
    • Tech Team (PowerPoint, Sound, Video)
    • Facilities/Property Team
    • Choir / Music Ministry
    • Snow Shoveling
    • Hospitality
    • Ushering/Greeting
    • Set Up Team
    • Landscaping
    • Special Needs
    • Adult Ministry
    • Bulletin Stuffing
    • Hand Bell Band
    • Homeless Care
    • Communications Team
    • Office Help
    • Worship Team
    • Missionary Work
    • Convalescent Care
    • Woodworking/Repair
    • IT work
    • Cooking
    • Decorating
    • Special Project help

The questions may seem fairly rudimentary in nature, but it gives your worship and team leaders a clear indication of what individuals are interested in. Which in turn can be used by your worship and team leaders to follow-up with one-on-one contact with the specific individuals to better understand their skills, and to make that personal connection.

Finally “Wash, Rinse, Repeat“.  This is not meant to be a one time questionnaire to be used once and discarded.  Rather a tool that is used on a regular and repeated basis to assess the areas of interest of both new and existing members of your congregations, and one which can help simplify things for your Church when you do need to “ask” for help.


Volunteers – Wash, Rinse, Repeat !!!

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