Any work in building stewardship in a parish or diocese involves working with volunteers, unpaid people
who give because they wish to express their faith in very practical ways, and to have others drawn to faith in Jesus Christ that sustains them. Working with and through volunteers is the ultimate act of stewardship – people’s time and energy is in short supply these days and should not be misused or ignored when they are freely given to their church. All of us know people who have left the church because they have been hurt by other people, when their gifts have been dismissed in some way, or when their favourite ministry has been damaged sometimes unknowingly. A parish or diocese needs to be diligent and adept in treating people with care, especially those who are giving their time and skill to their church.
If you want to learn more about the stewardship of volunteers in your church setting – inspiring them, recruiting them, supporting them, and recognizing them – there are several options for you to consider.
- If you feel that you yourself could benefit from a short refresher course in working with volunteers in your church, there is a three session webinar called Engaging Volunteers in Ministry: A Deeper View of Stewardship. Learn from people who have had years of practice as they outline some basic guidelines and give good advice.
- If you want to establish a small task group to build a better way of engaging volunteers for the parish or diocese, there is a four-session process you can use for the whole group to learn about best practices and immediately learn how to apply them. This process focuses on the webinars, Engaging Volunteers in Ministry: A Deeper View of Stewardship, but will help you and the group apply each session to your particular setting. Included are job descriptions for the task group and a process with handouts for your group. This process is outlined in Getting Started Two.
- If you feel pretty confident that you know the why’s and how’s of leading church volunteers, but want some examples or templates to guide you in certain areas such as a template for job descriptions, a volunteer coordinator’s role, an assessment sheet to check how your parish or diocese is currently doing, and where it needs to improve and so on. These very practical tools can be found at Getting Started Three.
- There’s a list of a few good resource books and contacts on leading volunteers in churches at Getting Started Four.
Other helpful resources
When you are building a more effective way of engaging volunteers where you are, and are building or adapting some good tools or processes, send them to [email protected] and they will be considered for inclusion as resources on this website. We need to learn from each other, and your work will help others who are struggling to do the best they can for God’s mission in their area.