5 Tips on How to Manage Your Volunteer Staff for a Very Merry Christmas.

Church Life
Christmas, volunteers
The Reason for the Season

For churches, Christmas is always exciting ….. and exhausting. For so many people, Christmas and Easter may be the only times they attend a church service. And while this represents a great time to reach people, it also puts a huge strain on church resources. Your volunteer staff is the perfect way to accommodate your visitors and ensure their visits turn into something deeper and perhaps more often.

5 Tips on Managing Your Volunteer Staff at Christmas.

1. Have and Share a Plan and Vision
Ensure that your volunteer staff knows your schedule for events and services and their associated themes. Even more, ensure your volunteers know your goals for those events. Your volunteers want to be successful and help the church do the same. We all like to be “on the inside” too.

2. New vs Existing Volunteers
If your volunteers are new, ensure they are ready to play appropriate roles. For example, if any activities will involve children, ensure background checks are run on new volunteers before assigning them duties involving those activities or events.

For your returning volunteers, putting them on activities that match their personalities and capabilities is key. Putting the right person on the right job will ensure your visitors will want to return even sooner.

3. Training and Tools
Services and events don’t just happen. They are carefully crafted to present visitors with information and meaning from pulling into the parking lot to exiting the church. Ensure your volunteers have a job description and even more, the tools to excel at their job.

For example, your greeters may need to have access to wheelchairs for elderly visitors. And certain staff may need a contact list to easily contact those to help with a particular visitor’s needs.

4. Leadership
Ensure there is a “leader”. This is the person who owns the events for Christmas and always has the answers or know who does. And this person presents to the volunteer staff who does what. Volunteers can then focus on their role knowing there’s a person or chain of command who can help at any time.

5. Appreciation and Future Involvement
When the Christmas celebration ends, it’s important to recognize your volunteers for their hard work and dedication to the goals and plans for the season. Send them a note in email or recognize them on your web site. Sending handwritten notes can also be show your gratitude in our increasingly electronic world.

The online world though is a perfect place to ask for feedback. Your volunteers see and hear things you cannot. Get that feedback before the new year to ensure that planning for next year has already started and so has your recruitment of those volunteers again.

The Reason for the Season

Christmas is when Christians celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus. We rejoice together, we share stories together and we also reach out to family, friends, and even strangers to share the “Good News”.  Nothing let’s us enjoy this Good News better than a well oiled machine behind the scenes.  An influx of volunteers should and can be the way to spread the news for continued church growth.

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