Every church needs a committed and enthusiastic team of volunteers if all the ministries and needs of the church are to work as a healthy representative of the Body of Christ.Recruiting that team, training, and keeping them functioning well are some of the major responsibilities of church communicators. Following is some overall advice and then some excellent PDF samples (click on the image for the full PDF download) of volunteer communications. The samples include a fantastic overall volunteer handbook, two volunteer recruitment and job listing booklets and one of the most complete ministry description brochures I've ever seen for church ushers. This is an extremely useful collection of volunteer equipping sample materials.
Advice for creating effective volunteer communication materials
Unfortunately, creating the communications support to keep these ministries functioning well is usually not at the top of any church communicator's list. It isn't nearly as much fun as doing a flyer for the summer picnic or any other primarily design-oriented piece because for volunteer communications to be truly effective requires:
- Lengthy research as to the roles and responsibilities of volunteer positions.
- Tracking down the people who have that information and getting them to write it down.
- Making sure the information about the various volunteer positions is constantly updated.
- Writing up the materials in a variety of formats: booklets, PR, brochures, website entries, all in a way that engaging and winsome.
- Keeping a servant's heart and good attitude while doing these tasks.
Doing this kind of thing is really hard work, but it is vitally important for a well-functioning church. It is a task that perhaps once you have the basic procedures in place, you could pass on to a volunteer.
Keeping this material current is vital to its success and for one person who cares tremendously about the volunteer ministry in the church, this could be a great job.
Samples of some great volunteer publications
Of course you will want to take these ideas and modify them for your church. Obviously the samples are all a few years old, but I share them because their content and approach is timeless and extraordinary in content.
Download the PDFs, carefully study the content, and apply to your church. The same content should be used to create both printed material and material for your website.
For each example, click on the image to go to the PDF of the complete publication.
Community is Contagious, Leadership Manual
This is an EXCELLENT leadership manual and I can't recommend enough that you download it and study it.
It has excellent advice on forming and nurturing ministry teams. It shows how important it is to develop relationships with our volunteers and gives practical tips and advice on how to do that. Never forget you aren't simply seeking to fill a job, but nurturing a member of your church in meaningful ministry.
Click on the image to download the PDF.
Serve one; worship one, ministry fair booklet
There are lots of things to like about this booklet: it is laid out in a very clear and attractive way; it has great photographs of very upbeat people; it explains the volunteer jobs clearly and succinctly, and it invites you to join the team. It also can be used if people are not able to attend the ministry fair as a follow-up or as part of a new member packet to let people know the varieties of service offered in the church. In addition to putting this material in printed form, take the same material and put it on your website in searchable form.
Who wouldn't want to be part of this great group!
Greeters Ministry Brochure
This is an incredible brochure—not only does it present an upbeat, exciting view of the Greeter Ministry, but it gives you the Greeter Core Values, spiritual preparation, and how to actually do the greeting.
It is easy to forget for those of us who have grown up in the church that if our church is reaching out and bringing people to Jesus who did not grow up in the church, how they have no idea how to do things (like being a Greeter) that seem obvious to us. This brochure takes nothing for granted and honors both the task and the people volunteering by the completeness of it. PLEASE take the time to create materials like this for your church volunteers.
To download a PDF copy of the booklet, click on the image.
All of the materials above took a tremendous amount of time and effort to create. But if you take the time to create materials like this, you will be able to recruit volunteers and you will have a much more informed group of people.
Fancy PR, a catchy video skit, or pleading from the pulpit is not what recruits volunteers that can grow in Christian maturity from their work. Clear communications and the caring that goes into creating communications like this can have a huge impact on people's lives and on the future of your church.
Please share your thoughts, comments, questions!