Ways To Help Volunteers Plug In

12 March 2009 — 4 Comments

Rosa Linda´s lanyard
Following on from my last post about recruiting and keeping volunteers, Chris over at A New Kind of Youth Ministry has posted a thoughtful “13 Ways To Help Your New Vol’s Plug In.”

After 12 years of doing youth ministry as a paid youth pastor and now being on ‘the other side’ of it all as a volunteer, I have learned a ton. One of the things I have learned is how difficult it is to get plugged in as a volunteer! So I crafted this little list of 13 things I’d do if I was ever back in the church as a youth pastor.

The context is specifially for church based groups, but I’ve found it quite helpful in reflecting on some of the groups I run and how our volunteers may feel when coming along. I know it’s very simple, but number 11 is important and something we’ve overlooked for some time.

Name badges on lanyards work great to identify volunteers. Visitor lanyards can even look different to help them stand out.

Our student placement brought this up a few weeks ago and we’ve been exploring ways to identify staff and volunteers to the young people through lanyards, T-shirts, sticky labels, etc.

Does anyone have any more top tips on integrating and keeping volunteers?

Jon

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I am a qualified youth worker, writer and consultant based in Littlehampton, UK. I've worked in the voluntary youth sector for over 12 years, am married to Kirsty and we have two daughters named Hope and Eloise. Check out 'Journeying Together: Growing Youth Work and Youth Workers in Local Communities' and read my opening chapter.

4 responses to Ways To Help Volunteers Plug In

  1. Hey. Just found your blog. Love it so far.

  2. Hi Jon!
    From time to time we let our Volunteers have little gifts including a bible verse and let them know, that their service is much appreciated and just to say thank you.
    We do only have volunteers, the only full time people are the pastors. In our kids service, that is Willow Creek based (Promiseland), we wear special t-shirts and basecaps. It leads to a special feeling of belonging to and works great – everyone is keen on this shirts and caps.
    GBU
    Ralf

  3. Hi Jon!
    From time to time we let our Volunteers have little gifts including a bible verse and let them know, that their service is much appreciated and just to say thank you.
    We do only have volunteers, the only full time people are the pastors. In our kids service, that is Willow Creek based (Promiseland), we wear special t-shirts and basecaps. It leads to a special feeling of belonging to and works great – everyone is keen on this shirts and caps.
    GBU
    Ralf

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