10 Commandments for Leading Church Volunteers

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Ten Commandments

photo credit: OpalMirror

We’re all familiar with the 10 Commandments, so I thought I’d have some fun and create a version for leading church volunteers.

I also have a set for how to be an all-star volunteer.  Stay tuned for that one later this week.

Check these out for happy and faithful volunteers:

  1. Thou shalt plan ahead and ask volunteers to sign up early for special events
  2. Thou shalt have all supplies and equipment ready for church beautification projects
  3. Thou shalt not change instructions at the last minute (at least not often!)
  4. Thou shalt train all volunteers and provide clear expectations
  5. Thou shalt run background checks on anyone applying to serve with children under 18
  6. Thou shalt not announce a significant change and expect volunteers to implement it that very moment
  7. Thou shalt be well-known for appreciating your volunteers and having fun
  8. Thou shalt cultivate leaders on your volunteer teams so you can delegate responsibility to them and not try to do everything yourself
  9. Thou shalt provide documentation including detailed descriptions of what success looks like for each volunteer role
  10. Thou shalt communicate a compelling vision for why people should volunteer and how they too will benefit from the experience

Bonus Commandment for extra-happy volunteers: Thou shalt ensure that coffee is abundantly supplied (especially for the early service crew!).

What would you add to this list?


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About Deborah Wipf

Deborah Wipf has a heart for ministry with a head for business. As the President & Founder of Velocity Ministry Management, Deborah serves ministry leaders by helping them to achieve their God-inspired vision without burning out themselves, their staff, or volunteers. She provides a variety of ministry consulting services based on her experiences in the corporate world and as a church volunteer. Connect with Deborah at velocityministrymanagement.com and on Twitter (@DeborahWipf).

Follow @DeborahWipf
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  • shawna

    Do you anyone working for your company in the Seattle area? I would like to do ministry consulting here. I could go on for days about leading volunteers.

  • http://daveshrein.com Dave Shrein

    Absolutely amazing what you’ve done here. You have used very few words yet you have tackled every major issue a leader should be concerned for regarding volunteers. As someone who is frequently asked to help provide training for pastors and leaders to do better at bringing volunteers into the fold, I will definitely be keeping this handy.

    Well done.

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