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What Your Volunteers Want More Than Anything

What do people want when they sign up to serve? What do they hope to accomplish? What do they want in return?

It's obviously not money. It's also not about prestige. It's not recognition. It's not honor. It's not power.

When people sign up to serve, more than anything else, they want to know that they are making a difference in the lives of people.

Volunteers don't serve for the income. They serve for the outcome.

People volunteer because they want to know that their service is helping people come to Christ and helping people to grow in their faith.

As a leader of volunteers, it is important that you consistently show people that they are making a difference.

Tell them the stories about life change.

Tell them the stories about the impact they are making.

Tell them the stories about how God is using them.

And this also relates to helping people seize the opportunity to be on your volunteer team. Cast vision about what God can do through their life and service. Cast vision about the spiritual growth they will experience through serving.

When a volunteer experiences God working through their life to influence others, it is an amazing feeling. It ignites a fire in their heart to keep serving. It also brings joy, fulfillment and adds fire to their passion to help others experience the love of Christ.

Implement these steps into your ministry.

Cast vision about how God can use potential volunteers to make an impact when they start serving.

Tell the stories of the difference volunteers are making. Capture these on video or share them in person.

Keep pointing people to the "why" they are serving.

This morning, I was thinking about a time when I wanted to honor and encourage the volunteers in our children's ministry. I had a banquet for them with food, a gift and verbal confirmation of how God was using them to reach kids and families.

A few weeks before the banquet, I had contacted about 15 families and asked if their child could come and help encourage the volunteers. We had the kids hide in one of the rooms until the end of the banquet. I started playing the song "Thank You for Giving to the Lord."

As the music was playing, the kids started coming in and telling the volunteers "thank you for serving and making a difference in my life." I know it may sound "cheesy" to do this, but there was not a dry eye in the house.

The volunteers were inspired and encouraged. Why? Because they could physically see the difference they were making. It was what they longed for and that night they saw it.

Few questions to think about as we wrap this up:

How often do you tell your volunteers "thank you for serving and making a difference?"

Do you consistently cast vision for what God can do through the lives of those who volunteer?

Do you show your volunteers how they are making an impact?


Volunteers who see and know the difference they are making will continue to volunteer for the long haul.


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