Summertime is often a slower season on the church calendar. Many churches take a break from having Sunday night and Wednesday services. Families take vacations during the summer months, so attendance on Sundays is usually down and volunteers are gone more often as well making it harder to stay connected.
Although volunteers may not serve as often during the summer, it is still so important for leaders to stay connected with their volunteers. The last thing you want to happen is for a volunteer to miss a few weeks during the summer, begin to feel disconnected, and decide to take a step back from serving.
Staying in touch with volunteers takes intention and a bit of time but it is essential to a healthy church.
As leaders we set the tone in communication and commitment to relationships. The way we communicate and invest in people when they are absent is as important as the way we connect when they are present. Help them continually feel connected.
- Send a note. A handwritten note, just checking in, and letting them know they are missed and you hope they are enjoying their summer will mean a lot to your volunteer. It lets them know you recognize their importance to your ministry and also that you value them as a friend.
- Make a phone call. Let them hear your voice and see that you are taking time to reach out to them. Don’t take much of their time, but make sure to ask them questions that show you care. Ask about their vacation, their family, and how they are doing. Share what you have going on in your life. A relationship should be reciprocal.
- Meet them for coffee or a meal. Taking time out of your day to sit down and spend time with them shows that you value their time and relationship. You probably have more time for meetings like this during the summer months, so make the most of a more open schedule. Have two meetings like this each week all summer long, and you will have really invested in developing deeper relationships with your volunteers.
- Communicate with groups of volunteers through Realm®. This is a great way to reach out to specific volunteer groups. Make sure you are not just passing on information but connecting about your summer and giving them the opportunity to respond to the entire group as well. This creates community and connection.
- Host a volunteer social event. Plan a get together that is purely for fellowship. You could rent out the local YMCA pool, a skating rink, a bowling alley, or meet up at a favorite park/playground to have volunteers and their families come together.
Taking the time to invest in your volunteers during the summer will result in stronger relationships and a greater commitment level. Volunteers are the fuel that makes church events happen and the foundation for a strong church community.
What will you do this summer to invest in your volunteers to help them stay connected?