Appreciating Your Volunteers
How does your ministry encourage and appreciate its volunteers?
Recent research has shown that there is a disconnect between the encouragement and appreciation volunteers sometimes need, and what churches are providing.
In their eToolkit (Download it here), our background screening partner Verified Volunteers, lays out some very important things to consider and steps to take as you seek to encourage and recognize your volunteers. These steps and considerations may not all apply specifically to your ministry, or every opportunity to serve within your church, but as a whole, this guide will help your ministry to cultivate a culture of gratitude around service.
Sometimes we aren’t sure how to go about recognizing or showing appreciation to those who serve in the church. Maybe we’re afraid to create a culture where people are only serving at a particular task so they get noticed. Or maybe we’re afraid of encouraging pride in the hearts of those we encourage. These concerns are valid, and pride and wrong motives are certainly something we should avoid.
However, the Bible does speak to how recognition and thanks, when done appropriately, is necessary and good for a body of believers.
Why Should a Church Show Appreciation and Give Thanks to Those Who Serve?
Appreciation and Encouragement of your Leaders is Good for Building up the Body
1 Thessalonians 5: 11 – 13 reminds us of the importance encouragement and recognition of leaders who serve can have in building up the body. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.”
Encouragement can Stir up More Good Works
As Hebrews 10:24 – 25 explains, our encouragement is for more than just lifting others’ spirits, or showing respect. It can actually stir them up to continue being faithful and doing good works. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…”
Encouragement and Thanks is a Great Opportunity to Give Glory to God
In addition to stirring others up to more good works, we can use showing gratitude to others as an opportunity to remind them of the good work God has done through them. For example, when you thank all the volunteers for giving their time at VBS, it’s a perfect time to remind them of the prayers that were answered when you asked God to send workers. Did the Lord speak to you through His word during the sermon? Thank your pastor for sharing God’s word.
How the Volunteer Recognition eToolkit will help you encourage and recognize your volunteers.
The eToolkit will cover what it takes to develop a culture of appreciation. You’ll learn about the importance of letting your volunteers and members know that their efforts are making a difference. For example, one way you can do this is through regular, personalized emails and letters you can print or send directly through Servant Keeper showing them their impact!
Recognition Doesn’t Have to Cost Much (or Anything)
You might be surprised to learn that volunteers least desire the more showy, and costly forms of appreciation (think parties, and plaques), and most often would feel encouraged by something as simple as hearing a “thank you”. This toolkit will give you other ideas of simple ways you can acknowledge volunteers’ work, thank them, and encourage them to continue serving.
Download the eToolkit and see what else you can learn about recognition, as well as additional examples of ways to best go about it based on each individual.
Are you interested in creating a safe environment (particularly for the children) and other members of your ministry?
For information on how quality volunteer background checks can help your church create a safer environment for your vacation bible school, contact Verified Volunteers. We’ll be happy to show you how our self-service platform makes the screening process seamless and efficient for everyone involved.