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How to Honor Your Volunteers

How to Honor Your Volunteers

If you’re a leader in ministry, you know how important volunteers are. They are the ones who help Sundays run smoothly, develop personal relationships with kids, and show up week after week to influence the next generation. For a role as important as that, we as leaders must know the best ways to honor our volunteers.

Let’s face it, honoring our volunteers means more than making sure they have the lesson and show up on a Sunday. Think about what makes you feel seen and valued – a personal gesture, a thoughtful gift, a sincere thank you? The same is true for those who serve in our ministry. Those things keep volunteers coming back. When they feel truly valued, they will take even more value in their role! Let’s talk about some different ways to truly honor your volunteers.

1. Go beyond the serving schedule.

Every leader must make sure that volunteers know when they are serving and are prepared with the lesson. However, volunteers will feel more invested in the ministry if they feel like they are seen and known.

This week, go out of your way to make a personal connection with a volunteer. Do they have an important presentation for work this week? Set a reminder to send them a text before the presentation and say a prayer. Have they had a tough week? Find a time to drop off dinner or send a Doordash gift card. Is there a child starting ballet tomorrow? Remember to ask how it went the following Sunday. Any personal connection that shows you are listening, you remember, and you care will go a long way.

2. Set clear expectations.

Another way to honor your volunteers is to ensure they know exactly what you expect of them. Clear expectations will provide security and confidence in your team members. Ask yourself . . . Have they been properly trained to serve? Do they have everything they need? If not, do they know who they can ask?

Volunteers will also feel prepared to serve when they are inspired with the vision of the ministry. For example, volunteer luncheons or dinners are perfect times to cast vision for your ministry. In fact, we’ve created a free resource to help with these volunteer kickoff events. The Volunteer Kickoff Event Kit will help inspire your volunteers to serve before the year even starts. From planning timelines and social media content to main stage messaging and musical parody skits, you won’t want to go without this kit! It’s truly everything you need to start the year off right for volunteers.

3. Make sure volunteers know you care.

Everyone wants to be a part of a community of people who care about them. If your volunteers know you care about them, they will want to keep coming back consistently. Looking for some helpful ideas to honor volunteers and show them you care? Look no further! Check out these simple ideas:

  • Write a personal note or postcard to show appreciation.
  • Show up in their life or in their family’s life outside of Sunday.
  • Remember the stories they tell and follow up with them.
  • Small $5 gift cards to Starbucks to say thanks.
  • Huddle up before Sunday service to pray for volunteers.
  • Reach out to every confirmed “yes” response and every “no” response for your serving schedule. This shows you notice when they are away and are glad when they come back.

When we go out of our way to make each volunteer feel individually important to the team, they will go out of their way in return. And what happens when a volunteer goes out of their way for kids’ ministry? Kids’ lives change for the better.

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