Each weekend all around the world, volunteers come together to help create different worship experiences
Many churches have few staff members and rely almost on volunteer-led production teams. But one thing I hear often is, “How do you recruit new volunteers to serve on your production team?” It is at times hard to recruit new volunteers interested to join our production teams, but I do believe there are quite a few things you can do to increase the interest in joining your team.
Below are a few things over the years I have found to have been successful in recruiting and maintaining production volunteers.
Commit to Excellence and Consistency
Excellence honors both God and inspires others.
Mediocrity rarely attracts others to get involved and share their free time.
One of the things you can do each week to help recruit new potential volunteers, is to work hard at creating an engaging worship experience each weekend. Don’t settle for “good,” but instead review and critique your weekends and find a one percent increase in performance each weekend.
Your goal is not to be perfect, but instead to improve.
One place to start putting your ear to the ground is within your High School and College/Young Adult crews. These students are usually quick learners, on top of it when it comes to technology, while also being creative, and have more time on their hands during the weekends. From my experience, though, they bring a whole new level of energy to the table in trying new ways of doing things.
And last but not least, they can become your great leaders if challenged to step up to the plate.
Offer a “Sneak Peak” Weekend
Choose a few weekends out of the year and put on your calendar a “Sneak Peak” or “Backstage Pass” weekend. If you can promote this from your stage that would be great, but that may not be possible (you know we all dislike that “announcement” segment). Although you can definitely promote it with your own volunteer team. On this particular weekend, invite anyone interested in volunteering to join you for a weekend service from the perspective of a production volunteer. Begin the day with your call time and have them sit in on production meetings, rehearsals and services.
Choose someone from you staff to be the “host” for the day and show them all the production elements that happen behind the scenes to make a Sunday morning worship experience happen. And just like above, put your best foot forward and do this with excellence.
One place to start putting your ear to the ground is within your High School and College/Young Adult crews. These students are usually quick learners, on top of it when it comes to technology, while also being creative, and have more time on their hands during the weekends.
Plan the day, create name badges, have snacks ready, and make the “Backstage Pass” an experience within itself.
This weekend helps you share the vision of what your team is all about alongside sharing with them the expectations of serving on your team.
Start with an Orientation
So once someone shows interest in your team and fills out that contact form, you want to inform them what your team is all about and its expectations.
So before you shoot them an email with a day to show up and have them start running a camera, invite them to a Production Team Orientation.
Spend some time with them – I’ve learned to do so for definitely no more than two hours- and share with the possible new recruits the vision of your team.
Why do you exist?
Why is sound, lights and video even needed in your church?
Why do you have a 7 a.m. call time?
What is a call time?
Those are just a few questions that I think you need to answer before placing anyone on your schedule. Take the time to show them around your spaces and explain what each role is. Then, as you wrap up the night, give each person a chance to choose a position to begin training for.
Train Them Well
So now this is where we take the turn on one of the greatest ways, in my opinion, of retaining volunteers.
Train, train, and train some more.
I am working on an article currently on our upcoming new training process, but until then I will say this: A volunteer will never ever be upset when they are set up to succeed on a Sunday. There is no worst feeling as a volunteer than being given a headset, put into a position on a Sunday, and not been trained.
Take time to create a training schedule for each position you have on your team. Each position will be different in length and content, but do not skip this process please.
Set your team up for success by taking the time to train them.
Spend Time Building Relationships
Last and definitely not least, invest in your team. Take the time to get to know them. Budget for gift cards. Take a few of them out for coffee or lunch. Create spaces on Sunday for them to rub shoulders with each other and create a comfortable environment for them to hang out between services.
Teams I have led are usually there all day on Sundays, so creating a living room-like area is key to helping create an atmosphere of family.
Don’t miss this part of volunteer recruitment.
Our job is to minister to others and not just work with technology.
Take care of your volunteer team so they can in turn minister to others, and invite them to join the team, giving it a great opportunity to grow.