9 Tips for Training Church Volunteers

Life.Church couldn’t operate without volunteers.

It’s a bold statement, but it’s true.

We have a small army of warm, kind, positive volunteer leaders who welcome people and help them experience God’s presence. From teaching kids to making coffee to running tech equipment to praying for attenders, our volunteer teams are in the trenches of ministry week in and week out.

But before volunteers can start contributing, they must be onboarded and trained. You can find resources on the Open Network that will help your church onboard Host Team, Switch, and LifeKids volunteers, but we thought it would be fun to turn to our campus and central teams to hear their best practices for leading volunteers.

9 Tips for Training Church Volunteers

  • “Good volunteer training and onboarding starts with a clear job description. Make sure you’ve clearly defined the roles you need and the characteristics of the person who’d best fit that position.”
    -Brandon L., Open Network Team
  • “Give volunteers the freedom and flexibility to try multiple roles or even multiple ministries to find the best fit for them. Remember, serving isn’t something we want FROM attenders. It is something we want FOR them.”
    -Angie W., Central Host Team 
  • “Never stop training your volunteers. Via huddles, one-on-one conversations, formal trainings, or written communication, continue to cast vision and talk about the things that are vital to your ministry.”
    -Julie M., Norman campus
  • “Orientation is the best place to cast vision and share policies and procedures with potential volunteers. The most important part of this element of your orientation is explaining the “why” behind each policy. The “why” inspires people, not the policy. A policy alone can be disregarded but vision about why we do what we do creates enthusiastic compliance. The use of specific stories is the best way to share the vision.”
    -Allyson E., NextGen Team
  • “The best volunteer training is both personalized (tailored to that person’s experience and skill set) and practice-based (driven by real-time, on-the-job feedback). As a leader, your goal should be to help every volunteer feel needed and known. Volunteers love being part of close-knit teams where they can utilize their gifts to make a difference.”
    -Austin T., Church Online Team
  • “Vision-casting is key. Tie what volunteers are doing to  the bigger picture of impact. Technical things can be taught, but vision is bought into.”
    -Jeremy C., Mustang campus
  • “If you want to engage high-capacity individuals, you have to allow them to use their expertise. Instead of creating a culture of micro-management, give key leaders freedom to do things their own way—not the way you would do it because they occasionally know things you don’t know.”
    -Craig Groeschel, Life.Church Senior Pastor
  • “As best you can, make any training you do feel less formal and more relational.”
    -Kasey W., Yukon campus
  • “Relationships are the key to training. The more your volunteers feel needed and known, the more buy-in you will see. With buy-in, you will see more ownership and growth in volunteers, and they’ll pour into others who serve alongside them.”
    -Wendy G., Edmond campus

Free Resources for Training Volunteers

For more practical resources for training volunteers, check out the library of videos from our newest Open Network partner, TrainedUp!


TrainedUp offers free training videos and learning guides to help your attenders succeed in volunteer roles at your church.

Check out their role-specific, leadership, or spiritual trainings on their partner page, or use the links below:

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