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All around the country, brand-new churches are experiencing explosive growth rates in their first five years. According to a recent Leadership Network study*, a new church or multisite campus grows 170% faster than the average of the following years. As churches grow, the need for volunteers to help serve in children’s ministries, welcome areas, and other teams also grows. The good news, which the study also reported, is that 31% more people volunteer regularly in those same five years than in the following years.

Interestingly, most churches launch in a rented space, so more volunteers are needed to set up and tear down the worship and community spaces each week. Having a strategy for finding, training, and keeping volunteers happy is critical for the success of your church.

Here are five key considerations as you begin your portable volunteer strategy.

1) You need more volunteers.

You aren’t alone in your fear about finding enough volunteers and keeping them engaged. In addition to “normal” ministries, you will need volunteers to transport, unload, set up, and pack up all the environments each week. Churches that view this challenge less as a challenge and more as an opportunity for engagement and discipleship have more volunteers and find that those volunteers thrive.

2) Volunteers want to be known.

Intentional discipleship of volunteers is critical for their growth and their continued service at church. Churches that begin with a strategy of discipleship in the selection and care of their team leaders are the most successful. Team leaders will see opportunities to pour into people as they convert the venue into a sacred space.

3) Volunteers want to be needed.

There are many people who come to your church, often men, who are intimidated by serving in children’s ministry, prayer ministries, or as greeters. However, they will come early for the opportunity to drive trucks, move cases, and set up the audio equipment. Set-up and tear-down provides a new on-ramp to begin engaging with others in your church. As they engage more, they will attend more and grow more, if you care for them in the process.

4) Volunteers want to be cared for.

Caring for volunteers means investing in leadership development and creating systems to maximize a volunteer’s impact. Volunteers should know exactly what the role is to be equipped to do that role. And leaders must be encouraging. The best system allows regular volunteers without much experience to easily participate, effectively set up, create a welcoming environment, and then tear down quickly.

5) You must be volunteer-centric.

Without volunteer-centric systems, volunteers get frustrated, serve less, and burn out more quickly. Avoid burn-out with a volunteer-centric solution designed by professional portability engineers. Churches that use portability engineers from Portable Church Industries, for example, launch both small and very large churches with complex state-of-the-art audio, video, lighting experiences, using volunteers who can completely convert the school/theater/community center into a house of worship in an hour or less. The volunteers don’t even break a sweat and are available to serve in other areas on Sundays. It can be done!

Your volunteer strategy is more than creating a map of volunteer spaces, and the result of a strong volunteer team directly relates to a thriving community for everyone who walks through the doors to worship with you.

For more resources and information about launching a new campus with a volunteer-centric approach, visit the Portable Church Industries website.

*The study by Leadership Network, in partnership with Portable Church Industries, is available for free here. Download your copy of 8 Launch Wins: A Study of 1,500-Plus New Churches and Multisite Campuses today!

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Founder and Lead Strategist of The Unstuck Group. Started in 2009, The Unstuck Group has served 500 churches throughout the United States and several countries around the world. Previously, Tony served on the senior leadership teams of three rapidly growing churches including NewSpring Church in South Carolina. He has five published books including, The Unstuck Church, and, with Amy Anderson, he hosts The Unstuck Church Podcast which has thousands of listeners each month.

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