Church Volunteering: How Church Volunteers Make a Difference in Our Communities and How to Become a Church Volunteer

Church Volunteering: How Church Volunteers Make a Difference in Our Communities and How to Become a Church Volunteer

Volunteering at church is a benefit not only to the congregants but also to the church at large.

Church volunteers do what some of the staff members cannot and others do not have the skills to achieve. They volunteer their time and talents for purposes of community service, satisfying their will to do for others and enabling the local church to make its mission with the use of more funds. Fundamentally, volunteers are the lifeblood of the church. But how do you build and manage a volunteer base for the church?

This article will guide you on how to get started with volunteering in churches, innovative volunteer opportunities, and building your church volunteer base.

How to Get Involved in Church Volunteering 

Getting Started as a Church Volunteer- Step One: Attend Church Services Consistently

So much of getting involved in your local church is just done by showing up—physically. If you're not there consistently, then you can't get plugged in. Certainly, be sure to stay home if you're ill or providentially unable. Do make it a priority, however, to be there when church happens, be it on Wednesday, Sunday, or whatever time of the week church service might be.

If you only go to church occasionally, your pastor(s) and other members of the church will quickly catch on that church is not something you prioritize.

Getting Started as a Church Volunteer- Step Two: Serve Sacrificially

More than just showing up, we should desire to serve the church. That will, in many instances, involve serving in areas that are not our gifts and preferences.

I serve my church by leading a small group once a month, and I really enjoy that. Before that, though, I was teaching Sunday school. I just felt called to volunteer that one Sunday service when they asked the congregation to help out. It wasn't my cup of tea, but I know it served the church and those kids.

You may also be able to serve your local church in ways that you enjoy but may not come that easily for you, but God would want you to serve. That is serving sacrificially. Although, you should also serve by making sure the physical needs of other church members are met and practicing hospitality.

Getting Started as a Church Volunteer- Step Three: Give Generously

Does the Bible require Christians to tithe? You can make the case that it doesn't. A tithe is automatically 10%. However, Scripture is very clear that we are to give generously.

Second Corinthians 9:7 reads, "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Not the number, but the condition of the heart in giving is what counts. Chances are you'll give more than 10%, for that way you're giving cheerfully. But whatever we do give—and I would encourage you to give to your church monthly—we must give bountifully.

Getting Started as a Church Volunteer- Step Four: Disciple Faithfully

Make it your life's goal to be discipled and to disciple someone else. This is one of the hardest things for me to do, yet I know it's one of the best things I can do for spiritual growth. Be very intentional and selective about the people you disciple.

Of course, if you're a new Christian, you ought to focus on being discipled. Once you mature, however, make it your business to find a Christian you can disciple and who'll be receptive to you. The church doesn't function as the church if we don't disciple.

Getting Started as a Church Volunteer- Step Five: Be Involved and Serve

Be active in your Christian life and in your local church. You can hardly do one without the other. You need the local church, and the local church needs you. However, when you come, do not just come to receive but to give.

Do not rush out the door at noon but linger and fellowship with others. Take every opportunity to serve. Help others, even with the little things.

Understanding Church Volunteering

There are several ways you can help grow your church: build youth programs, hold community events, set up services online, and do mobile and online giving, among others. Keep the following strategies in mind, and make use of your church volunteers.

Of course, the type of volunteers that a church requires will be dependent upon the skills and capacity of the paid staff and the church's priorities, as we shall go into greater detail now. Let's see the most common types of church volunteer positions:

Church Board

Nonprofit board members, including those serving on a church's board, volunteer their own time, talents, and treasure towards the common good of the mission. Church board members represent and reconnect the church to the congregation; that's a big commitment!

Your church board should be composed of volunteer members who are dedicated to your church. They should ideally have served for several years.

The person should also network with other members of the church whose experiences and backgrounds will be beneficial to the church and its growth, including fundraising, finance, human resources, marketing, IT, and many others. These are the people who equally help to develop outreach ministries to help the community and also identify other ministry volunteers.

Finally, consider one's ability to give when building your board. They do not have to give a lot, but it is wise to talk to potential board members about the importance of tithing.

Office Assistants

Weekday volunteers are the best for office tasks. They might include the following: program or bulletin folding, letter mailing, telephone answering, offline donation data entry, and more. Choose an online tool like Paybee that makes storing data and managing donor and donation data simple and quick for your office assistants.

Often, these online fundraising tools come with their own donor management system, which goes a long way in aiding the process. Train the volunteers well in the use of the tool. This will ensure that all data are equally placed, and future volunteers will have no problems looking for them when needed.

Paybee will help you add communication notes to a donor's record, manage your donors, segment them for personalization, track important moments, and more.

Worship Team

With each ministry, there are many volunteer opportunities in service, perfect for the regular attendee of worship. Welcome worshipers welcome everybody to worship, especially newcomers. They smile, hand out programs, and share information about the prayer meetings.

Church ushers are an important part of worship; they find seats for new members in the church, pass offering plates, and assist with communion, among other things. They, in other words, make the church service flow smoothly.

For those who want to be involved in sharing the word of God more actively, they can become scripture readers during the service. After all, what is a church service without music? There are plenty of opportunities for musicians in your congregation, whether as soloists in a praise band or the youth and adult choirs.

Here's a tip: Mobile giving is a great way to pass the plate in the middle of service because it helps inspire giving at the moment when you're already moved to give, and your members don't have cash on hand. Educate and encourage your ushers and other volunteers on the worship team to promote your text-to-give campaigns; train them to be available to help members as needed.

Sunday School Team

Many churches offer Sunday school classes; this is a marvelous opportunity to include people, particularly those with a passion to pass on the legacy of their faith to the next generation.

Another requirement for them is that they need instructors who would teach the training and activities. A commitment to a longer period of time is required as these volunteers have to attend the students' classes and to spend a couple of hours in preparing their lessons every week.

Teacher's assistants will help with whatever is needed, especially with young children or those in the nursery. This is a great opportunity for the high school or college student to volunteer in the church, or for adults who cannot dedicate the time to be a teacher. You could also make an activity committee for people who can't come during class time. 

They could fill Easter eggs for a hunt, get materials ready for an art project, or organize equipment for a game. This service experience is particularly useful for fundraising at your church. Provide volunteers to participate in these important roles, and provide the necessary training and help for them to be involved.

Digital Ministry Team

Virtual church services are taking members across the world by storm. Whether you're expanding your technology to actually include a virtual service or simply upgrading your sound and lighting at your in-person services, there are countless volunteer opportunities. Ask those gifted with tech savviness to run your soundboard, lights, PowerPoint slides, and cameras.

You may even have a graphic designer, photographer, or social media marketer in your midst. Utilize these members to help create promo pieces, take pictures that capture the beauty of your church, or even get the word out.

Special Event and Holiday Volunteers

If you have members who wish to volunteer but cannot make regular commitments, ask them to help during the extra busy times.

Planing teams of one-time events like trivia nights, Sunday school plays, and vacation Bible school. Day-of volunteers for things like set-up and tear-down, registration. And every time there is an upcoming holiday, you always let your congregation know in advance that there will be more ushers and greeters needed to assist than a regular service.

Use an online event ticketing tool like Paybee to help your volunteers keep track of your events and information about purchasers, such as sold tickets.

Benefits of Volunteering at Church 

Church Volunteering Benefit: Become Closer to God

Most of the people volunteering in the church do it in the hope of getting closer to the Lord. The more time we volunteer at the church, the more efficiently we get at performing our task, which is the work of God. We have all been called by God to do his work and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so that's the principle at the heart of volunteering in the faith of a Christian.

Be it children's ministry jobs, event planning, or anything else, your volunteer work for the local church shall be greatly influential. The church survives on volunteer work, so play your part in building a future for your children—and their children, too.

Church Volunteering Benefit: Help Your Community

Not only does a smoothly running church provide essential support to so many community members, but church ministry jobs range from requiring little to no expertise to being an essential part of facilitating a fully functioning church community that supports the elderly and needy while educating and rearing the next generations.

They can help in church work on Sundays and children can learn about work in general. Or as busy as your schedule may seem (don't we all live such hectic lives?), why not devote a couple of hours a week yourself? We can all spare a few hours for God.

Church Volunteering Benefit: Make Yourself Better

Whether you are learning in-depth information on children's ministry curriculum or just useful organizational strategies for planning a good fundraiser event, being pushed out of your comfort zone in a volunteer position inevitably helps you to acquire new skills as well. The benefits of volunteering are enormous.

What's more, you can put your newfound areas of expertise onto your résumé, far above the rest for any future jobs that you will apply for. Employers absolutely love to know that they are getting a dedicated addition to their business who knows how to work in a team.

Church Volunteering Benefit: Boosts Self-Confidence

Not only does a volunteer have the chance to serve the community, but he or she also gains an increase in self-esteem. When you know that you are really doing good in the world, and you spend your time fulfilling the real needs of the people surrounding you, you come to realize a sense of accomplishment that's different from any other.

You realize that the things you do really help the people around you, and you will feel great because of it! Take pride in the life that you are living; build character, develop an identity, and do all this through your role as a church volunteer.

Plus, the better you feel about the person that you are, the likelier you are to succeed and the likelier you are to obtain your goals in life. The benefits of volunteering are not limited to only within the church.

Church Volunteering Benefit: Makes You Feel a Sense of Purpose

This is why volunteering is recommended to those who may be losing their way in life and feeling a lack of purpose. A person who is going through a hard time, be it from depression or not being able to find the path he or she seeks, will find that the very act of consistency and community that volunteering brings can do them much good.

It can help give you a reason to live at a time when you might need just that: the mental health benefits of volunteering. Keeping one in regular contact with a support system and showing them that they are a valued and loved member of the community can offer relief from depression.

Church Volunteering Benefit: Keep Physically Active

Volunteering at the church can offer a world full of opportunities, varied, and exciting. Naturally, it's a great way to spend your free time, especially for the many people out there struggling to lose weight or meet their fitness goals. You could be running a class for young kids or refereeing a friendly soccer match.

What a fun way to keep active! This factor is especially relevant for older volunteers because they often do not have the motivation to stay mobile every day. Signing up to volunteer with the people of your church community could do incredible things for your everyday health, keeping you on your feet well into your golden years.

Building a Church Volunteer Base

The following tips will help in recognizing new volunteers and help them fit effectively into new opportunities within the church:

Create a Listing

List existing opportunities and those that may need you to add a new volunteer. Be sure to have a broad range of different volunteer roles on your list. Think about skills, levels of time commitment, age requirements, and availability during the week.

Rank these volunteer opportunities in the order of priority. In this way, you will know which role needs to be filled the fastest. So these should be the first you should focus on when reaching out.

Establish a Volunteer Committee 

Consider forming a subcommittee of volunteers on your board. That committee can be tasked with developing the actual list of opportunities and identifying members who are most likely to fit those roles. 

Then hold regular board meetings at your church office to review the list and discuss which of the candidates can be slotted into which roles. Your church leader can help run these board meetings, take notes, and keep track of important decisions.

Personalize Communications With Volunteers

This is where having a one-on-one conversation with potential volunteers usually works best. They will feel hand-picked and more likely to commit. Ideally, this should be done by different people, relative to the area of volunteer service.

A current board member calls potential new members. The education director calls those who may be good teachers. And ask your pastor to call those who could help in worship.

Make Reference to Volunteering During Worship

When is the best time to reach your congregation? In worship! Regularly share current and upcoming volunteer opportunities, either through being printed in the program, displayed on a screen, or through a quick mention during the service. 

Furthermore, speak with your pastor about preparing a service for volunteerism. Have a sermon on the needs for volunteers and why one must give his or her time and talents; also invite personal speakers on experiences with volunteerism. 

Make sure you have information and sign-up sheets right outside the worship space. And make sure you have current volunteers on hand to answer questions!

Post Volunteer Details

Spread the word: List your volunteer opportunities on your website. You can post flyers and a sign-up sheet on the main volunteer bulletin board. Better yet, you can tell everyone about your opportunities through your very own blog on your website, so they can share it on their social media networks.

Frequently Asked Questions: Getting Started With Church Volunteering

How does one begin to get involved with their church?

First, listen: Ask fellow church members where they think you could be most helpful. Attend events outside of worship services to identify future volunteer opportunities.

There is no "right way" to be involved; any amount of time, any extra hand, or any specific skills you could offer will be appreciated. When in doubt, ask church leaders how they feel you could best help your church.

Where can I find Church volunteering opportunities?

Begin with the simplest resources, such as a church newsletter, directory, or events bulletin. Should you have difficulty narrowing down the sort of opportunities that best fit you, just pick up the phone and call your church office staff to explain your availability and/or subject interests.

A faith-based organization is another good resource for volunteer opportunities affiliated with churches in your local area.

How can I make a difference through church volunteering?

Volunteering at church offers many meaningful ways to make a difference. Through sharing your time, talent, and abilities, you breathe life and fulfillment into your community's mission.

Your service in worship, education, community outreach, and events builds a strong congregation and helps serve the needs of the community. Volunteer in as many capacities as you possibly can at your church and learn how significantly you have affected the life of another human being positively.

What if I don't have any particularly good talents or any experience volunteering for church? 

The lack of skills or past experience should never scare you away from offering to volunteer at your church. Most volunteer opportunities only need a willingness to help and a positive attitude. They include activities like greeting the worshippers or helping in the set up of events. 

In addition, it might be a great way to learn new skills and acquire some experience which would later come in very handy in the service of the community. If in doubt, the leaders in your church or other religious organization, or the person in charge of volunteers, will be able to indicate the opportunities that are well-suited for your skills and interests.

What should I keep in mind when choosing volunteer opportunities at my church?

In deciding the type of volunteer work to do for your church, consider your interests, skill set, and time availability. Choose activities or areas of service that reflect your interest and strengths, because this will make your volunteer work more enjoyable and effective. 

Also, consider how much time is involved with each activity; make sure it fits into your personal schedule and commitments. Don't be afraid to ask for advice from church leaders or volunteer coordinators on what is available and what's expected for each role. 

Finally, make the best of the opportunities that work for you and that would allow appreciation and value for the work you do so that you benefit your church community.

Final Thoughts: Becoming Church Volunteers and Making a Difference

The Bible tells Christians to serve in the name of God, and that through their talents, others should be drawn. When you share this message with your congregation and give them diverse opportunities, it allows them to give back time and skill through church volunteering. 

There is a place for everybody who wants to assist.  It truly does take many people to keep a church running smoothly. Be proactive. Churches seldom have the capacity or organizational ability to actively scout out and communicate needs, or to find the right people to serve in various ways. Don't ever think that you are not needed because no one has asked you to help. If there's something you're interested in doing, inquire!

Look at the opportunities based on your interests, availability, and skills. Give yourself the freedom to say what you prefer or where your lines are. Don't hesitate to say no if a job is not a proper fit for you. It's much better for both of you and the church if you think through what you can and want to do. The worst you could do is commit yourself to something and not be ready or equipped to undertake the responsibility that comes with it. Churches would rather you ask to try something out than give the impression that they can depend on you.

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Anastasia-Alexandra Nenova

Born and raised in South Africa, Anastasia-Alexandra is a Bulgarian writer and fighter. When she isn't writing, she's busy training or competing in Judo for South Africa. She's passionate about Judo where she is a 2nd Dan, other martial arts and fitness overall. Her dream is to qualify for the Olympic Games in Judo, and she's doing her best to turn that dream into reality.

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