Nine Ways to Boost Volunteer Morale at Your Church

People put the most effort in when morale is high. And when it is, their effort won't even feel like work. Think about it. Have you ever had a day filled with purpose and joy that flies by in the blink of an eye? When your vision is aligned and you know your time is valued, you want to give 110% to everything you do.

Grant Glas
June 7, 2022
Kids Ministry Leadership

Cultivating an environment like this for your church volunteers is essential. Your church workers are giving up their time to do their duty, better the church, and connect with God. The least you can do as a church leader is make their time well spent by being supportive and boosting morale frequently.

Are you ready to do more for the people who show up to support the running of your church every day? Follow these nine guidelines for a happy team of volunteers.

1. Set Expectations

Setting clear expectations with group of voluteers

Believe it or not, you can begin to manage morale before a volunteer even starts the job. Align their church volunteer expectations with the reality of the position to prevent any unnecessary stress or disappointment.

From the moment you post a job description online, you begin to create an expectation around this position. So, be specific with volunteer recruitment to enable potential volunteers to apply to a role that speaks to their unique skills.

2. Good Organization

Organizing volunteer's schedule.

There is little worse than the chaos of being a part of a messy and disorganized group. It is demoralizing to be standing around cluelessly, unsure of how to help, and it is frustrating to be informed of a significant change minutes before a ministry session begins.

Smooth and consistent organization of a team gives the power back to the volunteers. Empower them to feel confident in what they are doing and equip them with the resources to be independent and manage their own time.

3. Show Appreciation

Patting volunteer on the back for a job well done

Showing appreciation for your volunteers could be the most vital factor when boosting morale, so we have compiled a list of volunteer appreciation ideas. If their hard work goes unnoticed time and time again, reluctance to even try will begin to set in.

Dedicate a regular time to appreciate your volunteers so you won’t forget. One of our favorite ways of doing that is posting a weekly social media spotlight where a volunteer is praised for their work publicly. 

4. Ask for Feedback

Getting feedback from your team

Church leaders can be so distant from the reality of their workers that they don’t even realize when there is low morale in their team. This shouldn’t happen if leaders are doing their part, but it is not unusual for busy managers to neglect their teams.

A good practice when monitoring morale is to ask for feedback regularly. A quick, non-time-consuming way to do this is through anonymous or online surveys to get a general idea of how volunteers are feeling.

5. Communication

One-on-one meeting

If you’re running low on time and need an answer quickly, a survey is sufficient, but there is no quick fix to connecting with people and finding out how they are actually feeling. In-person talks are far more effective if your goal is truly understanding.

Quick quarterly five-minute meetings are all it takes. Just make sure you don’t make your volunteers feel rushed. Show up for your volunteers to really listen, and you will build deeper connections while deciphering morale levels.

6. Prune if Needed

Asking someone to leave their role in the ministry feels like an extreme decision, but sometimes it has to happen. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to condemn the person in question, it just means that they weren’t the right fit.

Maybe they are proving inefficient as a leader and causing their team stress and anxiety, or perhaps they are hostile and difficult to work alongside. Either way, knowing when to prune for the good of your church is essential. 

7. Offer Training

Team training at a coffee shop

Don’t let your volunteers stagnate in a position without growth or development. It’s demoralizing for them and counterproductive for your church, as cultivating skilled employees benefits your ministry.

Identifying and training potential future leaders within your community is essential when encouraging progression and development. But why not offer access to free online training resources so they can better themselves in their free time too? 

8. Have Fun Together

Team having fun together out in nature

A team that laughs together stays together. Show your appreciation for your hardworking volunteers by planning events, parties, team-building exercises, and more. It doesn’t have to break the bank – a simple picnic in the park is perfect.

Don’t be afraid to take this even further into the day-to-day running of things. While church ministry is somewhat serious, there is so much room for laughter. See the joy in kids' ministry, church events, and even Sunday gatherings.

9. Give Special Gifts 

Small plant gift

Church volunteer appreciation gifts demonstrate that you care, value their time, and appreciate their work. Giving small welcome gifts when workers join the team sets them up for a positive experience with your church team.

Remember their birthdays and give them something simple, like a hand-written card signed by the team or a cake baked by a congregant. Gifts don’t have to be expensive – just a token gesture to remind them that their church volunteering doesn’t go unnoticed.

Encourage people to volunteer at church by keeping morale high and community bonds close. Word of mouth is a powerful thing when encouraging or dissuading volunteers to join your ministry team, so make sure yours is one they rave about.

It feels wonderful to do thoughtful things for other people, and guess what? It makes them feel incredible too! Take the time to boost morale every single day, and your volunteers will repay you tenfold.

Get Weekly Ministry Insights In Your Inbox

* indicates required

Don't forget to share this post!