Value Your Volunteers

By Doug Franklin July 21, 2016


It’s time to rally the volunteers and get them ready for a new year. Instead of just giving them the new t-shirt with this year’s theme on it, maybe we should think of some new ways to show them we care.

Nothing says I value you like time. Time is one of those precious commodities that people have so little of these days. Spend time with each volunteer if possible. With members of the opposite sex ask your spouse to be present or another staff member. When you do sit down with them do it over one of their favorite things, like coffee or a meal or in a park they love. It shows you are thinking of them. If you want to have a great conversation that shows value and care ask the following questions.

1.)Do you feel joy?

A great question to ask your volunteers is if they feel joy in their current position. Is it satisfying, do they feel fulfilled? Also ask if they feel set free, meaning would they do this ministry everyday if it paid? These kinds of questions will give you an idea of their purpose and help you understand if they will stay long-term; people who serve with joy stay in their positions longer.


2.) Do you feel appreciated?

Most volunteers never hear, “you’re great.” That’s why many of them feel like they are serving for no good reason. Make sure all your volunteers know how much you care about them. Be specific and explain to them how they are making a difference and how you could not do the ministry without them.


3.) Are you developing someone to replace you?

This question may catch them off guard but it will help you create an atmosphere of leadership development. Every volunteer thinks it’s your job to find more staff. Change that thinking and your volunteers will start recruiting staff for you.


These three questions won’t take hours to go over, but a little time and a favorite drink may insure that a volunteer will stay in the ministry for years to come.


About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More