How to Grow a Team of Volunteers

Building and managing a team is simultaneously the most rewarding and challenging endeavor that a worship leader can undertake. Many leaders who are entrusted with overseeing volunteers find themselves navigating unfamiliar territory, balancing their concerns for the team’s well-being with the practicalities of directing and developing the ministry itself. With such a broad task at hand, there are a few simple approaches that can help your team feel valued while at the same time ensuring that the needs of your ministry are being fulfilled.

1. Set Clear Expectations
When we first meet a potential volunteer, it’s natural to be excited. We’ve found someone we connect with, who has a similar heart for ministry and is gifted and skilled. Often though, the temptation can be to bring them on team immediately before we have communicated our expectations.

To avoid confusion or frustration, it can be helpful to have an initial meeting where you lay out a contract for all volunteers. Despite sounding overly formal, this contract is simply a written agreement that expresses the ministry’s core values, behavioral expectations, vision for the future, and weekly time commitment. Before inviting anyone to be part of the team, they should know exactly what they are getting into. This also protects volunteers from being over-used, because they can refer back to the clearly-defined parameters of the agreement if they feel that their boundaries have been overstepped. When we started implementing these agreements with our volunteers, we saw a significant increase in commitment from team members. They understood that they were stepping into something meaningful and being respected in the process.

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