4 Easy Ways to Build Better Community With Your Volunteers
Building community and expressing appreciation for volunteers is key to long-term volunteer satisfaction and engagement—but with all the other responsibilities of ministry, it’s easy for anyone to feel like they’ve dropped the ball on this crucial area. However, it’s hard to understate the importance of making our volunteers feel known, seen, and appreciated.
As a ministry leader, here are four easy (and reasonably low-cost) ideas to begin building a sense of community within your church volunteer teams:
1. Dedicated Facebook group
Facebook groups might be an ideal private environment for cultivating community throughout the week. A dedicated Facebook group for your volunteers creates a space for them to celebrate ministry wins, make prayer requests, and even sort out scheduling needs.
A closed group like this requires very little time and effort in terms of moderation and content creation—we suggest posting as little as 1-2 times per week. Your posts could even be as simple as asking for Sunday wins and weekly prayer requests/updates (or you could even delegate this to a volunteer!)
2. Volunteer of the week (or month)
Consider creating a "volunteer of the week" (or month) program where one individual volunteer is honored and celebrated with a small gift or gift card, a personalized note, and public recognition. This kind of program helps foster a culture of appreciation and celebration and can be a great way to build anticipation and excitement amongst your volunteers. Consider having a staff member from each ministry area (worship, kids, connections, etc.) submit their recommendation for “volunteer of the week/month” and go from there.
3. Host a volunteer appreciation event
Hosting recurring volunteer appreciation events is another excellent way to make volunteers feel seen and celebrated. These events don’t have to be over-the-top and expensive—some low-budget ideas are a movie night at the church with fun movie snacks, an after-church picnic at the park, or a game night for volunteers and their families. A family-friendly event (or an event with childcare provided) every few months helps volunteers connect with one another and build a stronger community bond.
4. Personal connection
One of the cheapest and most impactful ways to show appreciation is through personal outreach. Hand-written notes, texts, or phone calls go a long way toward making every individual volunteer feel known and valued. If your schedule allows, you might consider carving out time to meet one-on-one for coffee with newer volunteers.
There you have it! You can get started on these four easy, low-cost ideas this week to build community and cultivate a culture of appreciation on your church volunteer teams.
Which idea will you be trying out first? Hop in our Facebook group to join the discussion.