3 Best Practices Every Church Volunteer Should Remember

I love church volunteers!

Church volunteers are different than paid staff. They are not better or worse than paid staff, they are just different – in a good way!

However, most people in paid ministry positions will work with many more volunteers throughout their ministry lifetime than they do with compensated staff.

Paid staff can be guilty of serving without truly giving. Sometimes they can go about doing what must be done out of necessity and sheer obligation. Ministry service that is done solely out of duty can quickly turn into joy-less activity. In short, when a staff member serves out of obligation, they are not truly giving and working as unto the Lord.

Volunteers, on the other hand, must want to be in their place of service. Since there is no fiscal compensation attached, they must do what they do out of a giving heart.

However, as time wears on, even volunteers can be faced with problems in their service to the church for God. I recently thought about these three remembrances, which can help counter problems in volunteer service. Even if you don’t currently have any issues, it’s best to go ahead and practice remembering these three.

  1. It’s about ministry. Regardless of the task. Regardless of what it looks like. Regardless of what others think about it. It is a ministry!
  2. It’s about privilege. Serving God by serving your church and others is not something you deserve to do. It’s not something you have to do. It’s something you get to do. It is a privilege!
  3. It’s about attitude. Keeping the right attitude is an absolute necessity in serving the Lord. Please don’t allow a wrong attitude (or bad mood) to hinder your service to the Lord. It is about attitude!

Given a choice between the two, I’d have difficulty choosing between volunteer and paid staff. If I were some kind of independently wealthy tycoon, ALL of my ministry staff would be compensated so well that you’d be tempted to envy them.

Who do you think the next great paid staff member is?

It’s the volunteer who does the work of the ministry with no strings attached as they keep these three best practices in mind.

If you serve with excellence for nothing and simply for the sake of the call, then you would most likely make an excellent paid staff member.

Like many of my list articles, there could be more thoughts added to this brief piece. What have I not mentioned that immediately comes to your mind about volunteer service?

5 thoughts on “3 Best Practices Every Church Volunteer Should Remember

  1. We only have 2 paid staff, William – the pastor and a part-time administrator for a church of 150 members. We have a lot of volunteers, most of whom have served for many years on top of their day jobs.

    We are currently considering introducing a restriction for two (three-year) terms for deacons with a minimum break of one year to ensure that our volunteers get a rest, just as we give our ministers sabbaticals.

    All the deacons have specific roles some of which are very demanding, but I do wonder how the dynamics would change if we had more paid staff to cover these jobs?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey David – thank you for reading and commenting.

      I really like the idea of a sabbatical break for those chosen servants.

      In my mind, adding a paid staff member that could give full time hours could be an instrumental part of an aggressive growth plan. Of course that depends on many other factors like area demographics and the current church culture. Some lead (senior) pastors can manage office staff and multiply the amount of actual ministry accomplished.

      That’s my nickels worth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We are looking at the possibility of paid youth and family workers William – we previously had a youth minister who moved to take on a full minister’s role at another church. That is one appointment we really do need to make.

        Our former youth minister is the reason that our daughter ended up in full time ministry, although after four years with Youth for Christ she is now working part-time for a large church in another city (unpaid) in their youth and children’s department, and part-time (paid) in a secular job. Personally, I believe her church role should be a paid one given the hours that she works.

        This is our church: https://www.herefordbaptist.org.uk – city centre church (but in a very small city in a rural county). Website needs a bit of updating, but then our administrator is only part time!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing the website and other pertinent information. It appears that you do have a committed team. When staffing for future growth, one thing I’d look at is Children’s Ministry. For my pastorate, we currently have part-time staff members for Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry (teens). If the funds were available for a full-time staff member, I’d invest in the Children’s Ministry first. That’s simply because school-aged children cannot drive themselves to church. Their families bring them and stay in service, which gives an excellent opportunity for family-wide conversion. Older teens (in America) can and do often drive themselves to our church, and we net fewer parents in that manner. I’m currently investing in relocating our Children’s Ministry to a newer and more updated ministry space. I believe that consistent improvement there will give me the best opportunity for future stable growth. Of course, my thoughts are based on my understanding of modernity on this side of the pond.

    FYI too, our congregation is about that same size. Myself and church administrator serve with paid full-time hours. All other staff members are part-time with some working for free, and some only receive a small stipend. Like your church, we have so many gifted volunteers without which we could not functionally continue the same quantity and quality of ministry we currently provide.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you William. Our children’s deacon has had a vision of a children and family’s worker for a while now. She works for a Christian organisation in the city helping families in difficulty and sees huge potential for the church here.

      Our teens don’t usually start driving until 17 or 18 and then only if they/their parents can get insurance so generally they get driven in too with a mid-week youth group being the main spiritual/social event for the teens.

      We also see a gap as more 18 year olds are not going to University these days (our youngest included) and they struggle to see where they fit in within our church. This is an issue we are aware of but sometimes it is difficult to cover all bases.

      Thanks again for your post. All very good food for thought.

      Liked by 1 person

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