To keep your teams energized, you'll do this
Keeping your volunteer teams energized is key to empowerment, throw a party! Video attached.
We have found that in order to keep our volunteer teams energized, it takes intentional moments of fun. Creating memorable moments takes time, but it pays off huge! Think about this, if you were a normal profit company, you'd be paying every member of your team to produce high levels of workload. In the non-profit space, there are many opportunities to allow volunteers to comer alongside staff and help in carrying out the mission. However, many organizations burn out the volunteers accidentally and end up with less volunteers than needed to pull off the vision of the organization.
In the church, we consider the volunteers our greatest resource. And, they are not only a resource, but we've created a system that honors their gifts instead of just plugging holes in the organization with people. We are intentional about helping people discover their gifts and using them for God's glory in the local church. With that intentionality, it's much more likely that volunteers will find purpose in their serve opportunities in your organization. Think about it, if you can connect people to their personal mission in life through the local church, they will be accomplishing what God called them to do, not just what the church needs to get done. It's a win, win for everyone.
Considering all of this, we throw an annual party at Grow Church called the Grow Team Party. It's the most epic party we throw all year. The only way to get invited to the party is to be active serving on the teams. That is what this party revolves around, the people that serve. They give their time, energy and resources to the local church, and we schedule a party to thank them for their service every year. We've built a lot of energy around it, and many people schedule their vacations around it, so that they can participate. Sometimes there are trophies to be won for those that exhibit the culture of the church at high levels, sometimes there are food trucks, sometimes other awards, sometimes there are shout outs to teams in general, every year it's a bit different...but it's always exciting and fun. There is a lot of humor that happens, and sometimes it's at the expense of the pastors, in a lighthearted, funny way. Maybe needless to say, but there isn't a person that leaves without a full belly and a grin from ear to ear.
I've attached one of our opening videos, so that you can get an idea of the kind of time that we spend making this a memorable night for the teams. It is funnier to those that know the staff members in the video, but you'll get the idea. It's a pretty high level of production. This is the only thing during the year that the staff takes full control over and doesn't allow the volunteer teams to do anything, except enjoy. It is expensive, and it is a lot of work, but it is the party of the year!