Five Reasons People aren’t Volunteering at Your Church

October 1, 2013 - Mac Lake - Leadership, Teambuilding

Do you need more preschool workers to serve children?  Do you need more greeters to greet?  Do you need more ushers to…ush?

If so, you’re in familiar territory.

I’ve never met a church that said, “You know…when it comes to volunteers, we’re good.  We’ve got plenty.  In fact, there’s a waiting list for the nursery.”

Churches everywhere need to mobilize more volunteers to get ministry done.  But before you start signing people up and filling slots, it might be helpful to take a look at why people are NOT volunteering.

Here are FIVE REASONS people might not be volunteering at your church.

  1. You’re not asking correctly.  It takes more than blurbs in the bulletin and pleas from the pulpit to move people into volunteer positions in your church.  If you want people to serve, you’ve got to learn how to ask correctly.
  2. It’s hard to sign up.  Signing up has to be simple and immediate.  Hidden tables in the lobby don’t work.  Remembering to email so-and-so isn’t a good strategy.
  3. It’s not clear.  If you want people to do a job, they need to clearly understand the expectations and requirements.  Pull back the veil and show people what’s it like before you ask them to get involved.
  4. You’re not saying thanks.  People don’t want to toil away in a thankless role.  Just because someone’s reward is in heaven doesn’t mean they don’t need to hear “thank you” on earth.
  5. It’s too hard.  The super-committed will do whatever it takes, but if you want to mobilize a bunch of people, you need to make it easier.  Take care of their kids, provide food, and make sure they have everything they need to succeed.  A little planning on the front end goes a long way.

To learn how to build a larger volunteer base, sign up for the FREE ‘Get More Volunteers’ Event.

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Mac Lake


My passion is multiplying multipliers

4 responses to Five Reasons People aren’t Volunteering at Your Church

  1. I agree. I would add the following:
    Before you look for volunteers your mission and vision need to be clear so the volunteers would know what is expected from them and how important their role that they are fulfilling is. When the leaders are passionate about what they believe it is contagious! People want to belonged and be part of something that will fill their souls. Testimonies are very important. There is nothing better than word of mouth. If you have a great core of volunteers, they will be recruiting for you. Being visible as much as you can is a plus, thanking them personally is a plus, empowering them is a plus, delegating is a plus, recognizing them for their efforts is a plus…and so many little things will make a great hardworker volunteer.

  2. Nothing is worse than ‘signing up’ to get started serving in an area….and then never being contacted. ENSURE follow-up with all possible volunteers. The message sent otherwise is either, ‘We don’t really need help.’ or ‘We don’t really need YOU.’

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