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How to Recruit and Retain Church Volunteers

Aug 20, 2015 9:00:00 AM


If you’ve ever been in charge of volunteers, you’ve experienced one of the most stressful jobs in a church. People are prone to forget or cancel on a moment's notice, and while they often come full of energy, that excitement wanes after a few hours out in the hot sun.

So how can your church recruit and retain volunteers? Whether you’re looking for help with a one-time project or for someone to offer support on a regular basis, here are a few ideas to make the most of your eager volunteers.

Determine tasks that are volunteer appropriate

Make sure to choose tasks that are not confidential, don’t require a thorough knowledge of everyday operations, or could easily be accomplished by a church staff member in the absence of volunteers.

Utilize teenagers needing community service hours

Many high schools require all of their students to complete a certain number of community service hours, and volunteering at church counts. High school students are usually good at anything that requires a little physical activity or computer skills. And as an added bonus, volunteering is a great way for your young church members to interact with one another and with the church.

Prepare ahead of time

Volunteers are great when they are working, but they can be a source of interruptions when they don’t have enough to do. Make sure you have a list of tasks that need to be accomplished and instructions on how to do them in order to prevent them from having to ask too many questions or from getting frustrated and walking away.

Accept help when given

Sometimes it might be easier to just do things yourself, but remember that service in the church can be a joy for those willing to serve. Try to never turn down help, even if you need to wait a little while before you can get a task ready for a volunteer.

Hire part-time employees

If you find there are certain volunteers who could really help your church if they were able to spend more time on projects, you should consider hiring them part-time. Part-time employees can often provide more consistant help than volunteers, and that small paycheck is a nice token of appreciation.


This blog post is an excerpt from our ebook “51 Ideas to Make Your Church Office Hum.” To read the full book, which includes more ways to increase productivity and efficiency in your church office, download our free ebook by clicking the button below!

Download 51 Ideas to Make Your Church Office Hum

Peter Frank

Written by Peter Frank

Peter Frank is full-time student at Concordia Seminary who also serves part-time at Concordia Publishing House as the Digital Product Owner. His responsibilities include leading Concordia Technology Solutions (CTS), the church management software division. A graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin, his background in theology, business, and technology gives him a unique perspective on technology in the church. He is married and the father of two young children.

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