How many times have you heard a volunteer say that they want to quit serving because they feel disconnected from other adults? I know I’ve heard it more times than I can count. This is a legitimate need and most adult will eventually burn out if their connections to other adults is limited. Therefore, an important part of a leader’s job is to help adults connect with each other. This is often tougher than it might sound, but there are some things we can do to connect volunteers to one another and build community that is valuable.
1. Break into teams: If you have more than 5 volunteers, divide your leadership into teams. It is easier to get to know 5 other people than 10. Look for intentional and natural times for these teams to connect. It may be prayer before the service or a quick meeting following the service.
2. Fellowship together: Create events for volunteers and their families with the purpose of getting to know each other.
3. Prayer partners: Assign every volunteer a ministry partner. Encourage them to touch base with you to discuss children’s ministry, but also pray for each other.
4. Put someone in charge of care: You have someone in your ministry who is gifted in caring for others. Put that person in charge of coordinating meals when volunteers are in need, checking in periodically with volunteers, and keeping an eye open for needs that develop.
5. Share the wins: As the leader, you likely hear all the good stuff (and the bad, too, of course). Communicate regularly with the whole team and share all the good things God is doing. Brag on volunteers by name, as many of them as you can. Celebrate volunteers with the whole team. Share volunteers’ accomplishments. This helps volunteers see more of the big picture and helps them feel less isolated.
6. Host group meals: Every now and then host a meal that involves a few volunteers who may not know each other well. You could do lunch after church on Sunday, an occasional supper, or a weekday lunch in different locations for those that work close to that area.
7. Find a project outside of church: Your volunteers likely have servants’ hearts anyway. Periodically find a project that your team can do together outside of Sunday morning. This gives them opportunities to connect with each other and also to be reminded of the bigger picture of God’s work.