While volunteerism is generally a selfless commitment to serve others, the task holds even more meaning in ministry. The young women who volunteer for various roles at your church will support your ministry’s initiatives and impact others, but they should also experience personal growth through their involvement.
As church leaders, it’s our responsibility to shepherd these volunteers, ensuring they feel supported and encouraged on their journey to serve others and strengthen their spiritual walk. In this article, we’ll explore three strategies you can employ to support the growth of your volunteers’ faith:
- Cultivate a supportive volunteer community
- Provide individual support
- Develop personal relationships
Equipped with these strategies, we can pour into young female volunteers, both spiritually and socially. After all, every volunteer needs to be replenished before they can take on the role of serving others. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how you can support your volunteers’ spiritual growth.
Cultivate a Supportive Volunteer Community
A central component of every congregation is the importance of fellowship among like-minded believers. Your volunteer team can and should receive the same encouragement from meeting regularly.
A sense of community is crucial to helping the young women on your volunteer team feel reassured by the support of their leaders and peers.
You can cultivate a supportive culture by:
— Sharing Scripture
Our Bibles are “active weapons of warfare that we can use regularly, powerfully, and courageously in the fight against Satan and his schemes.” A surefire way to support fellow believers is by directing them to the main source of truth: the Bible.
Help your volunteers grasp their role’s deeper meaning by sharing Scripture and reinforcing biblical truths at every turn in their participation.
— Encouraging Collaboration
To truly build a community, support must come from collaborating with a variety of sources to create a reliable group. Working together not only allows women to see they can depend on each other but also helps them connect with one another, building friendships that will extend beyond your church’s volunteer activities.
— Looking Ahead
Whether the young women on your volunteer team are new to their faith or long-time believers, there is always room for spiritual growth. Encourage them to take the next step, whether that means enhancing their prayer life or memorizing new Scripture. This way, they’ll be motivated and challenged to stay strong in their faith.
You can also create a supportive culture by equipping volunteers with discipleship and training. Explain the vision for your ministry and reinforce the importance of volunteer roles in light of that vision.
For example, how does volunteer work further the kingdom of God? In doing this, you’ll shift the focus from doing volunteer work for others to doing work with others, highlighting the community surrounding their servitude.
2, 4, 6, 8! Who do we appreciate? VOLUNTEERS!
Provide Individual Support
While your volunteers work to further your ministry, you should also encourage the growth of their personal faith. Individual growth will depend on each volunteer and the circumstances surrounding her spiritual walk.
You can show your support by becoming invested in each woman:
— Spiritual Life
What spiritual guidance can you offer to edify your volunteers?
You might share popular Christian books for women to offer encouraging resources for their spiritual growth. You can also share useful articles, podcasts, worship music, and other resources to encourage volunteers in their faith.
— Mental Health
Get to know your volunteer group to assess ways you can specifically support their mental health. This could mean brainstorming personal prayer and devotional goals, setting relational boundaries, or diving deeper into the Bible together.
If applicable, you might connect your volunteers to other women for one-on-one mentoring opportunities as well.
Outside of their involvement with your church, volunteers have families, careers, and other important responsibilities. Offer support for every role in their lives and encourage open and consistent communication. Let your volunteers know that you understand some seasons may be busier and more demanding than others and offer flexibility should they need to cancel a shift.
Remember, the young women on your team are more than “just” volunteers! It’s important to recognize them as whole people with other responsibilities and personal struggles. Not only will this encourage volunteers to grow their faith, but it will strengthen your volunteer team.
Develop Personal Relationships
Getting to know your volunteers not only engages them in their volunteer roles but also puts you in a position to support their spiritual growth. After all, when you know your volunteers more personally, you’ll be empowered to better understand their spiritual walks and offer the right kind of support.
Develop these personal relationships using the following tips:
— Show Your Appreciation
It’s no mystery that your volunteers do so much for your ministry. Likewise, it shouldn’t be a mystery that you’re thankful for them! Honor their efforts by showing your gratitude and thanking them for their specific contributions.
— Check In Regularly
The easiest way to learn more about your volunteers is by asking them directly. Ask them how they’re doing and how you can support them better. You can also use this opportunity to gather their feedback on the volunteer program and how they feel about their roles.
— Organize Additional Gathering Opportunities
Depending on the nature of each volunteer role, you might not get to know every young woman in the context of their work for your church! Create opportunities outside of their volunteerism to gather and get to know each other better. For example, you might launch a Bible study for your women volunteers to share their spiritual walks with each other.
Remember, developing personal relationships requires effective communication. Just as you advertise your children’s program or a new women’s Bible study, you’ll need to strategically reach out to your volunteers to ensure you’re communicating well. Consider using online tools, like greeting cards or email newsletters, to make your outreach more engaging.
Creating a plan to support your volunteers is only the first step. Don’t be afraid to adjust your approach as new volunteers with different needs join your team or you receive feedback that suggests a change.
Ultimately, you’ll gain the best sense of direction for your efforts to shepherd volunteers when you’re in prayer about your leadership, so listen carefully and show your support accordingly!