Building A Dynamic Team Of Volunteers

Why You Need To Prioritize Building A Team Of Volunteers

This past year I got to the point where I was losing volunteers because I wasn't spending enough time investing in them. It was an interesting dilemma because I knew they needed my guidance and leadership, but I was too busy filling in gaps and getting stuff done so that the ministry wouldn't collapse. Unfortunately, I had started to believe that slowing down to take a broader look at the ministry wasn't an option. I finally snapped out of it when I realized we weren't going to have enough people to run a ministry unless I started focusing on building up a team. 

I know I am not alone. I meet a lot of busy catechetical leaders, who tell me that they don't have time or the resource to rally a team together. I get told that building a team of volunteers is a big church luxury. Then I get a few who say that they've tried building a team, but find that the volunteers are not engaged or they don't have enough for them to do.

Sometimes, I think the reason we get too busy to build a team, is becaus we forget why we are supposed to have one in the first place. The reason every parish, of every size needs to build a team of volunteers is because:


At the heart of teamwork lies the equitable distribution of responsibilities. When you're juggling multiple roles and tasks in an understaffed church, building a team offers relief. Sharing the load ensures that no one person is overwhelmed and prevents the risk of burnout.


The Body of Christ is made up of many parts and when each of those parts fulfills their role, God's glory shines. The diversity of gifts and charisms can be a wellspring of innovation and creativity. Not only can your team tackle the issues challenging people to grow in faith, but it can offer new ideas that will bless the world.


Building a team is an investment in the church's long-term sustainability. As the team grows and matures, it answers the question, "What happens when FILL IN THE BLANK leaves or steps away from their role?" When I left my last parish, it was the community of volunteers who were able to support the parish staff before a new person was hired. Having a growing team ensures that the mission of the Church is shared amongst the faithful.


Whether you are paid or volunteered, those who dedicate their services to the church are called to assist the pastor in empowering the faithful to do the will of God. We're not called to do the work alone. As leaders you are called to help the Church be the Church.

Now that we know why, how do we get started? Here are three tips to help you do that:


I know, I know, that might seem impossible, but look at your calendar two, or three weeks from now and plan a day, where you are going to pray and revisit your work priorities. 


If there is someone you know who has experience building teams of volunteers, reach out to them and offer to buy them a cup or bite of something good. Ask them for wisdom, and guidance. If you are interested in something more professional, set up a free consultation with us by clicking HERE


Find one person to shadow you. All they need to do is watch what you do, ask questions about why you do things a certain way, and you get to explain it to them. Not only will they learn what you do, but their questioning will help you articulate all the different responsibilities you hold. Start with one, and then move to two more. One new person to shadow you, and another to shadow the first person who followed you. Don't feel like you have to get all of your team now, just start small.

Building a team in an understaffed and resource-limited church may seem daunting but the benefits far outweigh the challenges. Shared workload, diverse perspectives, emotional support, increased productivity, and long-term sustainability all contribute to a stronger ministry. Embrace the power of teamwork and together you can achieve great things in His name.

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