5 Ways to Prepare Your Volunteers for Sunday
Preparing your Volunteers to serve on Sunday is an art. I think one of the weakest areas in our churches is that we don’t actively prepare our teams for their tasks. I think often times we are so busy that we find preparing the people who work with us, who give their valuable free time, as an afterthought. This needs to change. We need to value organizing and readying our team excellently.
I feel there 5 practical ways we prepare our volunteers for Sunday.
1. COMMUNICATE IN ADVANCE
In regards to communication, If you can’t do anything else, you should at least communicate the following:
A) Lay out the Schedule
B) Verbally announce the Expectations/Goals
C) Discuss contingency plans or backups
I think communicating is one of the most important ways you can prepare your team. You need to be doing this communication way ahead of the week of. In fact, “A” should be done weeks before you get to the week you are preparing for. “B” and “C” you may choose to do the week of, but at least communicate the schedule well in advance so your team can prepare to be ready and available when you need them.
When I say plan, I mean critically think through everything that is scheduled to take place and look for how everyone will work together on a given day or event. Don’t confuse planning with creating order of service, planning is digging into the schedule to ensure everything works together in a seamless way. So for example, in the production world, you don’t just have a Planning Center order of service, instead you think through what will the light transitions between each song be. Think through where the MC and pastor will take stage from and don’t forget when and how you will be transitioning between them. Will you need to hand them a mic?
For every role, there are specifics you need to think through with your team so they are prepared and ready to handle whatever occurs.
You can’t ask people to do what they don’t know to do. Always provide opportunities to train your team. In every aspect of the church, even though this may look differently in each department. The key is to find a way to pour into and train your team to do what you are asking of them. The ultimate goal, then, if for them to feel confident when they are doing what they are asked.
4. ASK FOR INPUT
The best part of having a team is that you have others to carry the load with you. Part of preparing your team for Sunday is allowing them to have input. The input they give might be offering a suggestions for how to do something better or it might be a statement telling you that they can’t do something you had intended for them too. Either way, open yourself up to getting input from the team so that they can feel valued and take ownership of what they are doing. And ultimately, you may find some things that you can improve on. This may be new systems to implement, or, at the very least, ways you can communicate better with new volunteers going forward.
5. BE THERE TO SUPPORT YOUR TEAM IN THE MOMENT
The final piece happens at the event. Offer yourself as a support to your team. Don’t just train them and leave them, instead enter into serving with them. If you are managing, then do that by staying engaged and care for your team. If you are running a position, do it the way that you would want your team to do it. Model it for them. Ultimately, hold yourself to the same standard you want your team to meet.
Practicing these 5 habits will help your team feel ready and confident. I am convinced that by doing this you will set yourself up to grow leaders in your midst. Because you communicate and include you will foster a culture of growth and development.
I am praying that we would all serve our church well by caring for our teams in spending time to prepare them well.