Without volunteers, churches would never be able to fulfil God’s mission in their communities. Serving is critical for growth for both the givers and receivers that results from service.
Skilled volunteers can be some of the most difficult to recruit. Graphic designers, developers and such, can be as scarce as they are needed. Why you don’t have the volunteers you need is not a mystery or a difficult challenge to address.
Besides general scarcity, there are other reasons you might not have the skilled volunteers you need.
1) Never Asked
This is one of the most obvious and overlooked reasons. A lot of people tend to wait for an invitation to give of their talents and time. Be brave, make the ask.
If the skilled individuals are not willing to commit for the long term, how about involving them in short term projects? You will not know unless you ask.
The worst anyone can say is, “no”. In any case it doesn’t take anything away from you because they are not engaged anyway. Ask.
2) Lack Of Willingness to Upskill or Train
Sometimes the people you need exist, they just don’t have the skills yet. A strategy to build a volunteer base with the skills you need may just be to upskill. It may not have immediate results, but it is a worthwhile medium to long-term investment.
Your challenge as a leader and recruiter is to identify the unskilled who have the aptitude but not the skill. It will be worthwhile to think and act over a longer term. If you can’t find them, create them.
3) Not Clear
Another reason you might not have volunteers is that there is no clarity on expectations. People don’t know what you expect of them.
What will demands on their time and other resources?
Be clear on what you want your volunteers to do. When you know there’s a need but don’t know everything it will take to meet it, let them know.
Also, is it clear how to sign up and get involved? Make sure you’re clear on how people can get involved if they’re interested.
Volunteers want to know that despite difficulty in assignments they’re going to have fun. You have to be creative for those you have currently serving. They tend to become the best recruiters when they enjoy what they do.
To what extent do you make volunteering fun?
Find ways to show that you fun. For example, make a promo pulling the curtain back, showing how enjoyable what you do can be. Make your work fun.
5) No Challenge
Most skilled people want challenge. A lot of them search for ‘safe’ environments to explore and experiment. The church is easily one of the best places to exercise creativity.
Creative people want to be stretched. Find ways to not only challenge but also inspire them to build things they never have. Challenge them to find fresh solutions. Allow them to colour outside the lines.
Don’t be overly prescriptive; create room for exploration. You will be pleasantly surprised.
What would you add to this list? What are some of the ways you’ve used to engage more skilled or specialised volunteers?