What Do Volunteers Want?

Business 101 asks three questions:

1.     Who are my customers?
2.     What do they want?
3.     How can I get it to them?

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any KidMin program. I can survive without money, but I cannot survive without volunteers. 

We need ask the question, “What do volunteers want?”

Here is a list of  five things that all volunteers want. If we do these well, we will never lack for volunteers.

1.      Volunteers want you to be prepared for them.

As the leader your job is to equip your volunteers so they can focus on the kids.  Don’t just throw them to the wolves. Especially make sure your new recruits have someone to mentor him or her.

2.    Volunteers want you to respect their time.

Start and end your meetings on time.  Everyone’s time is valuable and if you treat it as such, it goes a long way.

3.     Volunteers want to be appreciated. 

Give a heartfelt Thank You to your volunteers, often. Don’t just say thanks. Be thankful and be specific.

4.     Volunteers want to hear you and be heard.

Regular communication is motivating for volunteers, while the lack of it is one of the chief reasons volunteers become dissatisfied. Likewise it is incredibly motivating to a volunteer when you use one of their ideas.

5.     Volunteers want to be connected. 

Everyone is looking for that place “Where everyone knows their name.”  Make your team – that place where everyone wants to be. 

Here is a link to the Volunteer Training Program that we developed. Feel free to borrow any or all of it.

Did you know? We just released a brand new KidMin book called The Red Book. This book is a step-by-step guide on how to develop an effective KidMin that brings life change to the kids you minister to on a weekly basis. Click here to claim your copy.

Mark Harper

6 thoughts on “What Do Volunteers Want?

  1. Jeanne Bowser says:

    I leave sticky notes since I’m the sticky note queen , telling them I appreciate them. I send them e-mails with scripture sometimes or just a word of encouragement. When I see them on Sundays I like to give them hugs. I just sent a few of them small valentine cards signed by God. I also try to phone call the ones who are phone people and text the texters, keeping up with how they communicate, so I can touch base to see how they’re doing. I have prayed for them and their families when they’ve been sick I have one night a month which I pray for my teachers and youth workers when I pray for the kids. I still need creative ways to reach out though in this fast paced world.

    • Super Church says:

      Hi Jeanne, I like that you know your people and you respond to them the way that they will receive – phoning and texting. Also you are yourself (in person) a hugger. It is so important to connect with those we work side by side with. Thank you for sharing. Debbie

  2. Vanessa Bell says:

    I’m new to the Leadership Position, I have been the Youth Leader for about 1 1/2 years. I know one thing is for sure, Volunteers are especially important! I had a question on training, we have Fire training quarterly, what kinds of topics could I cover. I want to keep God’s Volunteers happy excited and engaged with the children, our Ministry age is zero to 14.


    • Super Church says:

      Hi Vanessa, In today’s society time is of the essence. So your routine training, policies, rules and guidelines should be done all through the year via email, blogs, video training. When you have your quarterly training times you want to make it worth everyone’s time and you want a strong turnout. So, make it special. You may need to cover (quickly) general business or address an issue that recently arose, but use this time to speak into their life – special teaching, or introducing new curriculum or program. Include special treats. (Maybe you don’t like to bake, but there are people who do and would do if for you.) Make it a time of honoring people who have gone the extra mile by giving them an award. Talk about the dates and put them out there in advance and build it up. Most importantly be you. You are in this position for a reason. Your pastor believe’s in you and trusts you – so go for it. This is your opportunity to pour into these people. Blessings. Debbie

  3. Randy Waters says:

    Once a month we have family praise and worship where all the kids stay out in the main house during worship, offering , and announcements. Then we release the children to their classes, but before I do that, I have the names of all my 140 children’s church volunteers and I draw a name. The person drawn and their family get to go to dinner with my family. The whole church sees that and the live streamers see it . The volunteer feels good and they are recognized for their hard work, an dedication to the children’s church!

    • Super Church says:

      Wow! I feel special already and my name wasn’t even drawn. That is an excellent way to communicate appreciation and the value of children’s ministry in front of your whole church. Thank you for sharing this with us. Debbie

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