Partnering- Maximizing Incoming Volunteer Teams

Volunteer teams can be such an encouragement and a blessing to our churches’ ministries.  Whether you are considering requesting a volunteer team for the first time or your church has an on-going relationship with existing partners, we can so easily default to familiar ideas or do what has “worked before.”  Below are just a few options that may help you expand or maximize a volunteer team’s efforts this year.  These ideas can be added to an existing team’s schedule or may be the impetus for a whole new team. 

CHILDREN’S EVENTS - Many churches will do children’s events in the warm summer months, but also consider other times throughout the year such as Spring Break or long weekends.  Some ideas for children’s events might be Kid’s Clubs, Vacation Bible School, Sports Camps, Family Fun Day, etc.  One church plant did a ball hockey camp during Spring break using local members as lead coaches and volunteers from a partner church as assistant coaches and support services (registration, snacks, etc).

COMMUNITY EVENTS - Whether an event is sponsored by a community group or the church itself, volunteers are often needed to make the event a success.  This may be a block party, community carnival, winter skate, or summer festival.  A volunteer team could be used to do childcare, garbage clean-up, refreshments, ticketing, running booths, face painting, live music, etc.  If the event is community sponsored, team members may fill needed spots in the volunteer rotation schedule.  If the event is church sponsored, volunteers from a partner church can often free up local church members to mingle with the crowd and/or be up front.

CONSTRUCTION - Look for needs at your own church facility (if applicable) or in the community as a whole.  Are volunteers needed to help renovate a community centre?  Are volunteers needed to help build a structure in a neighbourhood park?  Some projects may require provincial trade licences, whereas other projects may be completed with volunteers under the right supervision.

SERVICE PROJECTS OR CLINICS - Is there a special need in your community?  Perhaps a partner church has an individual or team who can help meet this need.  Some examples would include offering a seasonal bike tune up, pet care clinic, oil change and basic car check service, nutrition class, community clean-up, school supply collection for needy families, scrap booking class, garage sale to support a specific community charity or project, quilting class, potted plant give-away, gardening clinic, etc.

SPORTS CAMPS, TOURNAMENTS, OR CLINICS - Perhaps a team could be used to assist with a sports camp or clinic.  This may be for pre-schoolers, children, youth, or adults.  It could be a soccer camp, a cheerleading camp, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a golf clinic, or even a skateboarding demonstration at a community event.  Do be sure that volunteers’ skills and abilities match the required level of instruction. 

TRAINING - A team from a partner church may have different skills than your church.  They may send a team to lead an ESL class for a week or to train members of your church in such a skill.  They may be able to lead classes on money management, marriage, family, retirement, or discipleship.  These are but a few examples.  Many more ideas may arise from your own discussions. 

PRAYER - Imagine if every home in your community was prayed for over a specific period of time.  A volunteer team can include Prayer Walking into their schedule each day.  Be sure to give specific direction and debrief following each Prayer Walk.

The possibilities of ways to use a volunteer team are limitless!  If your church or church plant would like to explore additional ideas of how you could maximize a volunteer team from a partner church or would like tips on hosting such a team, please feel free to connect with someone from our Mobilization Team.

Ideas presented here were gathered from different Regional Partnership Coordinators and/or Church Planting leaders across Canada.