We all know church attendance spikes at Easter, and we want attenders to feel welcome when they walk through our doors. Start preparing now to warmly welcome new families by building and training a great volunteer team.
Why are volunteers so important?
People may forget what your pastor said on stage, but they will never forget how your church made them feel. And your volunteer teams are crucial in creating the right environment.
Use these four steps as you build your volunteer teams to create a welcoming environment for Easter. And for our curated list of free Easter resources, visit the Life.Church Open Network Easter page.
If you need more volunteers to provide an excellent guest experience, consider doing a focused call for volunteers in the weeks leading up to Easter.
Here are a few tips for leading a serving push.
- Lead with vision. A serving push isn’t begging for volunteers; it’s casting vision for why your attenders should serve and letting them know how to quickly connect with various serving opportunities. At Life.Church, we use the time before or after the message the cast vision for serving, and allow attenders to connect with serving opportunities in the lobby after service.
- Create space in the lobby for connecting. Set up a booth or kiosk and staff it with key volunteers or staff members who can answer questions and help your attenders start their volunteer journey. Use balloons, t-shirts, or banners that catch the eye and pique interest to draw a crowd.
- Strike while the iron is hot. Help your attenders take their next step immediately; don’t wait. If a volunteer application is their next step, have plenty ready so they can get started immediately. If orientation is needed, sign them up before they walk away.
- Follow up quickly. Once attenders are ready to serve, follow up quickly and get them plugged in—within 24 hours is ideal. Share your excitement and let them know clearly what their next steps are.
Don’t just rely on a serving push to recruit new volunteers. Encourage your current volunteers and your staff to always look for opportunities to lead attenders into their next step of serving. This happens weekly through conversations in the lobby or small groups, and ministry huddles are a great time for leaders to encourage volunteers to step into those conversations.
Once you’ve recruited new volunteers, get to know them better. Help them figure out their special gifts and passions—and let them use those skills as they serve. Online assessments and books to help them learn their spiritual gifts, personality types, or even love languages are great tools that help volunteers learn more about themselves and find their niche.
Also, know that serving can be a big next step for some of your attenders, and many can face spiritual attacks because of this new commitment. Have many touch points so you can help them navigate their feelings.
Want to know more about developing and empowering leaders? Watch this great training from one of our Life.Church pastors, Todd Roy.
Once a new volunteer has signed on and been welcomed to the team, train them! Be sure to share not only the “what” (what they need to do), but also the “why” (the vision behind that action).
For example, on our Host Team, we train volunteers to open the door for each guest, versus holding the doors open at all times or propping them up with a doorstop. Instead of simply telling the volunteers to open the door for each guest, we also share the vision behind that action: a door that’s opened specifically for you feels more welcoming and personal, like you’re entering a five-star hotel or restaurant.
The best part about training is that you don’t have to do it all. Identify a few key volunteers that excel at what they do and ask them to train new volunteers. This offers more connection points to your ministry and gives your current volunteers more ownership in the ministry.
At Life.Church we have a saying, “We don’t recruit volunteers; we release leaders.” Once we bring in, build up, and train, it’s time to send out.
What does “sending out” look like? You may find yourself sending out great leaders from a prime service time to staff a new, lower-attended experience time. Or, if you’re multisite and opening a new campus, send out your highly-trained volunteer team to aid in the launch of the new church.
Don’t be afraid to send out leaders. Have a mindset that requires you to always focus on finding and developing new leaders, and releasing experienced leaders to do more for the ministry.
As you prep for Easter, focus on building up and training a volunteer team that will help people feel welcomed and hopeful as they walk through the doors of your church.
We want you to feel welcomed and hopeful yourselves this Easter season, so we’ve gathered all our free Easter resources on one page, open.life.church/easter. Here, you’ll find downloadable resources, training, apps, and conversation in community to help you prepare for Easter.