3 Reasons You Should Make Volunteers “Church Staff” and How to do it Well

Most of the time when we think of “church staff” we think of people who are paid to do the pastoral work of the church. In larger church contexts paid staff will check off all the boxes from senior leadership to children and youth to worship to communication and on and on these positions will be filled by paid staff positions.

In small church contexts this just simply is not and cannot be the case. You might be the only paid staff member or maybe you also have a part time office manager and custodian. Maybe you just have a part time youth minister from the local college to help you. Whatever your context is you can empower volunteers to be staff as well.

Here are 3 reasons you should make volunteers part of your staff:

Recognition for Good Work

If you approach the person who has been leading songs for years and does it well and you say “hey we love what you do and you know we cannot afford to pay you but we want you to be the worship pastor and facilitate our music ministry” then you are showing recognition for the person.

Better Buy-In

If you make volunteers staff members than you can expect a better buy in from them as well as other volunteers who are now under the tutelage of this volunteer.

Help Builds a Team

Empowering great volunteers by elevating them to church staff will help you build a team. It will make worship planning more seamless, outreach and discipleship meetings more seamless and it will allow you a team to build from.

Now, here are some principles to consider when doing this:

Make Sure You Give Them a Title

Hey I like titles! And so do most people. If you are going to do this right then make sure the volunteers you set apart are given clear titles with clear responsibilities.

Make Sure Everyone is in the “Right Seat”

Do not just take the youngest adult you have and ask them if they want to be the youth pastor! They might not have any passion or skills to do this, but maybe they love to make graphics and videos so turn them loose in the visual department. Make sure you are putting people where their skills, passions, and interests lie.

Consider Mileage and Other Reimbursement

If you are asking your new volunteer staff member to do any driving for the church then offer mileage reimbursement and of course reimbursement for ministry expenses in their department.

Celebrate and Recognize These Leaders Often

Make sure you celebrate the person and recognize them for all the things they bring to the church. Do this intentionally, publicly, and often.

Show Interest and Mentor but do not Micromanage

Make sure you show an active interest in their ministry and mentor them to be a stronger leader but do not micromanage and try to take over every project and task.

Do you Make Volunteers Staff?

Join the conversation and let us know. You can do so in the comments below or on social media: Join our Facebook Group, tweet us, or post on our Facebook Page. We would love to connect!

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Written by Joe Hoagland

Joe is a pastor at Rise Church in Marion, Oh. He is married to his awesome wife Jenna and they have one daughter Aryella.

He loves to lead people to Jesus and preach God's word.

You can often times find Joe hiking, camping, writing, reading, or enjoying technology.


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