building a team

Why Does Your Team Stick Around?

Is your ministry the hottest place to hang out during the week or are people signing up to serve for the cool name badges? People get involved in your ministry for a variety of reasons and that's great, but what keeps them around? 

I used to put all my focus on recruiting, but that got exhausting when leaders were turning over. If I wanted to succeed in building the team, I had to start by keeping those who already committed. When a team member feels valued and understands their importance, they are less likely to walk away. To reduce turnover and increase commitment, consider the following strategies:

Learn How They Like to Be Appreciated

How do you express your gratitude? Is it through a card, spending time with your team, or giving them a shoutout in the bulletin? It's important to understand that each person responds differently to appreciation. While it might seem trivial, connecting with your team on a personal level will help them feel valued and solidify their place in your ministry.

Tip: Conduct a quick survey to find out how each team member prefers to be appreciated. For more on this check out Gary Chapman's 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Work Place.

Allocate Time, Money, and Energy to Their Formation

Competent leaders are confident ones. Training your leaders well requires time and the right resources. (Need affordable leader resources? Check out MYM Premium HERE) Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because they are volunteers, they don’t have the time or desire to do more. Many of them got involved because they were searching for more. Working with the Church provides endless growth opportunities. But, you just need to invest money, time, and energy to make it happen.

Tip: Schedule regular training sessions and provide access to a library of resources (e.g., use a shared folder to hold those resources). Recognize and celebrate those who take what they learn and use it.

Get Out of the Way and Give Them Ownership

From day one, focus on figuring out how to replace yourself. A ministry that depends on one person, aside from Jesus Christ, is doomed to struggle. Ask yourself, "How will people manage without me here?" The goal is for them to thrive and grow, which can only happen if you hand over responsibilities and decision-making power. You can still maintain accountability by setting clear expectations, but it's essential to step back and cheer them on.

Tip: Create leadership roles and allow volunteers to lead projects or events. Provide mentorship and support as they take on these new responsibilities.

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." – 1 Peter 4:10

If you want high-performing volunteers who are passionate about Christ, it's crucial to show them gratitude, support them, and give them ownership of their roles. With loved, confident, and dedicated leaders, there’s no telling where God will take your ministry.

Call to Action: Reflect on your current volunteer practices. What’s one thing you can start doing today to better appreciate, train, or empower your team?

For more tips and resources on volunteer retention and leadership development, visit MYM Premium HERE.

Similar posts

Get notified on blog posts, updates and all things MYM

Be the first to know about new happenings from Marathon Youth Ministry Inc, from blog posts, to webinars and professional development opportunities.