We’ve all been there. Sunday morning rolls around and we’re panicked by the number of volunteer roles left unfilled. We think, “Don’t people know the church has the most incredible mission on the planet!?” The truth is, many of the people in your congregation do—they’re just waiting for you to ask them to join you.
On episode 41 of the Think Orange Podcast, we’re joined by Christine Kreisher, Discipleship Pastor at GT Church, and Adam Duckworth, Lead Communicator at Downtown Harbor Church. They address several reasons why we need to rethink our approach to volunteer recruitment. Secure your earbuds and get ready for these volunteer experts to help you mobilize volunteers to accomplish your mission.
Welcome to episode 41 of the Think Orange Podcast.
Christine Kreisher tells her story of how volunteerism has changed her life (7:19)
The secret to recruiting volunteers is retention (12:44)
Avoiding the revolving door of recruitment (13:48)
Interview with Adam Duckworth (18:45)
What first drew Adam to volunteer (24:13)
Misconceptions people have and why they don’t volunteer (27:11)
How to invite volunteers to fill needs (29:05)
Community is the secret sauce of volunteerism (33:51)
The 7 quirks of not normal volunteers (35:26)
As a leader, you can help people develop these 7 quirks (37:45)
Advice for leaders managing volunteers for the first time (40:36)
- Establish a coaching structure
- Remember it’s all about relationships
Dave and Ashley’s final thoughts (43:30)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Event: The Orange Conference 2018
Book: The Volunteer Project: Stop Recruiting. Start Retaining. by Darren Kizer, Christine Kreisher, and Steph Whitacre
Book: Not Normal: 7 Quirks of Incredible Volunteers by Sue Miller and Adam Duckworth
Book: Leading Not Normal Volunteers by Sue Miller and Adam Duckworth
Christine is the Connections and Family Pastor at GT Church in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Adam Duckworth is the Lead Communicator at Downtown Harbor Church.
Quotes from This Episode
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
Ask anyway. Sometimes we look around at those in our congregations, and we invent a million reasons why they wouldn’t want to volunteer. Maybe we think they’re too busy. Maybe we think they don’t enjoy kids. Whatever reason we think of for why a person won’t serve, we won’t know until we ask. And I don’t mean one of those big asks you do from stage. I mean, schedule a time to sit down, share your vision, and ask them face to face. You never know what hangs in the balance of your invitation to serve.
Model the way. If you want the volunteers you lead to serve others in a strategic, loving way, show them what it looks like. For example, if you want small group leaders to pray for their few during the week, make sure you ask how you can pray for them. Send birthday cards. Plan times for them to have fun together and experience community. Don’t assume volunteers know what you want them to do—model it for them.
Let them go. Sometimes you might need to let someone go. No, I don’t mean fire them (although sometimes that will be the case). Good leaders look for ways to promote or shift current volunteers—even if that means leaving a vacancy elsewhere. Maybe you’ll notice that you have someone serving behind the scenes that belongs onstage. Maybe you’ll see leadership potential and invite a volunteer to take a next step into leadership. The best thing you can do for your ministry and those you serve is to have the right volunteers in the right places.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
How do we approach inviting people to serve in our ministry?
What plan do we have in place to develop existing volunteers?
Do our volunteers experience a sense of belonging within their ministries? What’s a step we can take this week to promote community?
When he’s not working as a pastor at North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Dave is usually making his family cross their arms, roll their eyes, and tap their feet while he takes “just one more quick photo” on family outings. You’ll also often find him up to his neck in “Jewish stuff” as he researches the cultural context of Jesus for his daily Instagram devotions. Learn more about Dave at daveadamson.tv.
Ashley serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange and the USA Director of Carry 117. She has worked with students in public education, athletic and ministry settings for the last 12 years. She is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating on stage, developing leaders, working with students and world missions. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.
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