6 Quick Questions to Value Volunteers

I love sports and believe that it teaches great things like teamwork, overcoming adversity, and how to deal with success and failure.  These are all super important and I believe worthwhile reasons for my children to play.  I value our town rec league. It provides me an opportunity to support our local community and meet and influence friends and neighbors.  I also love to see my kids play and compete!
This season my oldest son, Cade, decided to play flag football again.  My younger son, Zechariah, wanted to play soccer.  I’ve coached Cade every year he’s played soccer or football.  I haven’t coached Zechariah yet.  I felt like this should be the year.  When I signed them both up, I volunteered to coach soccer.  I indicated I wasn’t available for practice Thursdays or Fridays.  When the soccer team assignments came out, Zechariah’s team had no coach and practiced on Thursday nights.  At the same time I received a couple of emails asking me to coach flag football again.  Assuming flag football needed more volunteers than soccer, I agreed to coach.  Soccer practices started this past week and Zechariah’s team didn’t have a coach.
I get it, running a league is tough and they’ve experienced rapid growth.  This year they have over two thousand kids playing spring sports.  It’s awesome!  But to maintain the momentum requires committed volunteers.  Churches have the same potential for volunteer issues as they grow. Recreational sports leagues don’t happen without volunteers, neither do churches.  Continued growth and sustainability of both are dependent on how they manage and serve willing volunteers.
We’ve noticed that most of the practical learnings and best practices you bring home from a Small Group conference were shared “in the lobby” with other Small Group Ministry Leaders rather than from the main stage. It’s in the Lobby that you can engage in an in-depth conversation about real-life issues in your Small Group Ministry. The Small Group Network One Day Lobby Gathering – Tennessee will intentionally facilitate these types of interactions. REGISTER
Questions that need to be answered in your church to ensure a great volunteer culture:
  1. Is there an easy way to volunteer?
    • Does your church have a simple way to connect everyone, new and longtime alike?  Is that method scalable?  Do you use online tools or connection events to indicate interest?
  2. Are people who volunteer followed up with?
    • Once a person indicates interest in volunteering what happens next?  Is there a system to follow up or is it haphazard?  Is there a process to track follow up?  Are they given next steps to take?
  3. Are they serving out of need or calling?
    • Are volunteers able to connect in areas they thrive or are you filling holes?
  4. Is there training for new volunteers?
    • What is the on boarding process?  Does it include any sort of orientation?  Is the process too complicated?
  5. Are volunteers routinely communicated with?
    • Are your volunteers in the loop about upcoming events and changes?  Do they receive encouragement?  Are they told when things went great?  Do they know when they didn’t?
  6. Have they been connected to a great mission?
    • Are your volunteers connected to something greater or just fulfilling a purpose?  Do they own what they are doing or is it obligation?
So what are you doing to ensure that great, willing volunteers are mobilized around your church’s mission?  Ensuring a big mission is accomplished requires big teams with big dreams.  Your team can start today by asking these questions.


  • JW Hilliard

    Passionate about empowering others to live boldly for Jesus through biblical community, JW serves as a Groups Director at Southside Church in Peachtree City, GA. He enjoys hiking, coffee, good books, and great conversations. He's blessed to serve Jesus through the local church and to share life with his amazing wife Melissa and two awesome sons Cade and Zechariah.

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Daniel Thomas

Connections Director



Daniel serves as Executive Pastor at Community Church of Mountain City, TN.  Daniel and his family are on a mission to establish roots within their community, fight for peace and serve well.  He serves as our Connections Director in laying the groundwork for Circles. He loves great coffee and traveling with his wife Tia and two children, Deklan and Aden



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