Reasons Why People Are Not Volunteering at Church

Ron Edmondson and wife, Cheryl.
Ron Edmondson with his wife, Cheryl.

Do you need more preschool workers to serve children? Do you need more greeters to greet? Do you need more ushers to ... ush?

If so, you're in familiar territory.

I've never met a church that said, "You know, when it comes to volunteers, we're good. We've got plenty. In fact, there's a waiting list for the nursery."

Churches everywhere need to mobilize more volunteers to get ministry done. But before you start signing people up and filling slots, it might be helpful to take a look at why people are not volunteering.

Here are five reasons people might not be volunteering at your church:

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1. You're not asking correctly. It takes more than blurbs in the bulletin and please from the pulpit to move people into volunteer positions in your church. If you want people to serve, you've got to learn how to ask correctly.

2. It's hard to sign up. Signing up has to be simple and immediate. Hidden tables in the lobby don't work. Remembering to email so-and-so isn't a good strategy.

3. It's not clear. If you want people to do a job, they need to clearly understand the expectations and requirements. Pull back the veil and show people what's it like before you ask them to get involved.

4. You're not saying thanks. People don't want to toil away in a thankless role. Just because someone's reward is in heaven doesn't mean they don't need to hear "thank you" on earth.

5. It's too hard. The super-committed will do whatever it takes, but if you want to mobilize a bunch of people, you need to make it easier. Take care of their kids, provide food and make sure they have everything they need to succeed. A little planning on the front end goes a long way.

Ron Edmondson is a pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky. He is also a church leadership consultant who is passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Prior to ministry, Ron had more than 20 years of business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner. Follow Ron on Facebook, Twitter, and his blog at ronedmondson.com.

For the original article, please visit ronedmondson.com.

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