We can’t talk about ministry – even digital ministry – without talking about volunteers! Whether you use texts, emails, vlogs, blog posts, or social media, take advantage of our digital world to connect with your volunteers, especially in this season of COVID-19.
One of the ways I connected digitally with my volunteers (especially since we were a mobile church and had no permanent space) was through a Volunteer Facebook Group. The Volunteer Facebook Group was a secret group, meaning volunteers could request permission to join, but only I (the Children’s Ministry Director) could approve their request. All posts in this group were private and only seen by members of the group. Volunteers could request to join the Facebook Group after training. We used this secret group to ask for subs/switching weeks of service, share news or funny stories from time with our kids, make announcements about upcoming events, celebrate our volunteers of the month, and have fun together (the meme game was strong).
I also utilized texting programs like Remind to stay in touch with volunteers, send reminders, and share encouragement.
We even had a children’s ministry volunteer page on our website. It was password protected, had lots of information for current volunteers, and hosted a monthly training blog post. I then used that blog post at our monthly meetings and on social media.
Using digital methods to TRAIN your volunteers can be so helpful too! Here are a few tips/Ideas for effective digital training:
- Make it easily accessible (clicking a link in an email or on fB, having a dedicated space on your church’s website for volunteers, scanning a QR code, etc.) rather than asking them to type in a long url that they won’t remember.
- Use automations like Mailchimp – set up newsletters or reminder emails about training that go out automatically. So you can just set them up and then not really have to think about it again, but your volunteers have reminders.
- Make it bite-sized. Don’t try to host your entire 2-hour in-person training online, unless you break it down into sections or units that volunteers can complete one at a time.
- Use your social media platforms. Facebook Groups allow you to create units within the group that walk members through a series of learning milestones. I’ve seen some churches creating online courses of their volunteer training, whether through an official online course platform or even by creating a YouTube video series. Or, to help communicate some of the less exciting – but still important – information, consider using Instagram Reels or Tik Toks to make funny videos about new policies.
Tapping into digital resources allows you to train your volunteers even when you’re not with them in person, showing your respect for their busy schedules and lives outside of your ministry.
So find out where your volunteers are online and use those digital channels to communicate with them, keep them in the loop, and equip them to serve in your ministry.
On Friday, we’ll share some social media graphics and samples from this digital volunteer training you can use to connect with and train your volunteers digitally!