Make Your Ladies Ministry Volunteers SMILE
It’s the season for volunteer appreciation banquets, recognition ceremonies, and even volunteer appreciation speeches! It can feel complicated, and sometimes even forced. It doesn’t have to be! I think there are some simple, practical things you can do to keep your volunteers whistling while they work… and smiling while they serve! Here is a simple formula to make your volunteers SMILE:
S – Say It
When it comes to volunteer appreciation, there is nothing better than a timely Thank You and sincere word of appreciation. The catch is you have to actually say it to your volunteers! It doesn’t count to just think about them, or even talk about them to others. They need to hear it from your lips. You may not even realize how life-giving your words of affirmation will be to your hard-working team. But trust me, they need to hear it!
M – Mean it
When it comes to volunteer appreciation, flattery will get you nowhere. Instead, think: sincere, specific, and personal. If this is challenging (for perhaps a challenging volunteer) ask God to give you a fresh perspective and appreciation for that person. Find one thing you can praise them for and then mean it with all your heart!
I – Initiate it
We often think, “No news is good news.” Yet with your volunteer team, they may not be forthcoming with what is on their hearts and minds. They may be questioning whether they are doing a good job or not! It’s up to you to initiate moments when you can reassure them and listen to them. Making time to connect with your volunteers (as much as you possibly can, given the size of your team!) is a special form of showing appreciation for volunteers.
L – Live It
Volunteer appreciation is not just for special occasions, such as your next volunteer appreciation banquet or event. Make a decision to express your thanks whenever you have opportunity. Start and end every meeting with it; open and close every email with it! Pretty soon your volunteers will get how much you value them.
E – Encourage It
Enlist your core team to adopt the value of volunteer appreciation. Offer opportunities for parents and church members to communicate with volunteers on a regular basis. With your example, as well as through instruction, you can create a culture that values service… and the people serving!
This article “Make Your Ladies Ministry Volunteers SMILE” by Sue Brage was excerpted from: www.churchvolunteercentral.com web site. February 2011. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”