With new technologies readily available to aid the organization and running of our churches, why not extend these to our volunteers, too? Some would believe that technology is bringing an end to the days of volunteers, as it could render some of the jobs unnecessary. Instead, we know that it can improve the efficiency of volunteers, with a focus on meaningful volunteer work, rather than the admin jobs that would typically be assigned.
With handy tools like online sign-up, improved communication channels and clearer organization of tasks, church management software can transform the running of your church. Many have even found more volunteers through incorporating church technology, as the reach is wider online and can include remote working options. Plus, working for an organized and modern church system is much more appealing to our young volunteers.
There are ample church software options out there, and choosing a good one is key. Pick an option with a detailed directory, so you can save specifics about each volunteer’s unique skills and interests. This way, you can cross-check information about past work they have done, and their educational and working history, to build the perfect team for each project.
Customizing groups this way, based on individual strengths, will improve the quality of the volunteer work, whilst simultaneously increasing their dedication to the task. People will work harder and enjoy it more if they are doing relevant work that is meaningful to them. Plus, the feeling of being hand-selected for a task will boost morale while getting the right hands on the job.
Automatically generate online schedules with church rota software, often included in technology packages. Enable volunteers to log their availability online, so the system can assign jobs and create teams automatically based on availability and suitability. Having the rotas online so that everyone can see who’s working will put everyone on the same page, making sure everyone knows where they are supposed to be, and when.
Save the time usually spent poring over volunteer details to decide on job allocation, and spend it on what really matters instead. Many options will simply cross-check for keywords and set the best possible team for the job. Oftentimes, many church volunteers have incredible skills from their lives spent working, and knowing exactly who is the ex-firefighter, designer or chef, will boost volunteer work efficiency while ensuring that people are doing work that they are good at.
Many larger projects will involve detailed planning, and it is easy to get lost underneath all the paperwork. We recommend using an online organizational software to help with the designation of tasks and improve teamwork. Some church software packages like Flocknote and The Planning Center include an organizational aspect within, but other churches will opt for a separate app or website.
Apps like Trello and Asana will clearly display the tasks set for each volunteer, along with deadlines and resources. Being able to check assigned tasks and approaching events swiftly and smoothly online means fewer people forgetting and increased accountability. Plus, you can quickly cross-reference the tasks assigned to different workers, making church organization a teamwork affair. Shown to improve productivity and efficiency, these apps are used frequently in the business world too.
Instant Messaging Services
Another brilliant tool brought to us by church communication technology is instant messaging services. Rather than cross-checking every messaging application on your phone for your chat history, church messaging services will keep that all in one place. With in-built church directories, group chat options, and recurring reminders, your congregation will be closer than ever. More personal than email chains, church volunteer groups can discuss upcoming projects in group chats, for more effective communication.
With faster reply rates and increased engagement, instant messaging is a must! Share videos, images, and polls, adding more creative content to your communication channels, enhancing the quality of your volunteers’ chats. Plus, people can get involved from a distance and help out remotely, getting stuck into discussions and planning. Forging the friendships that will last a lifetime, more messaging means meaningful conversations and closer connections.
Central Requests System
Adding a centralized document or spreadsheet for volunteers to log their requests and comments will make sure nothing gets missed. Weekly or monthly meetings can be used to discuss each point on the list, ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard, and every problem solved. Google Apps for Work has great options for this, with online, shared editing, and collaborative communication channels.
Alongside this spreadsheet, add another to show whether or not volunteers have been asked to work at specific events. A personalized message inviting a volunteer to work goes a long way, boosting morale, communication, and community values. Avoid the awkwardness of multiple messages by logging in when you have sent that message so that no one else will. Plus, you can note their response, making it clear if someone else is needed.
If you have ever found yourself wondering “how does technology help the church?” – the answer is in more ways than we could imagine. From increasing the reach of volunteers and including remote workers to saving time on scheduling and rotas, using technology properly will make you ask why you didn’t just make the switch sooner.