What are the Key Steps Needed to Build an Army of Volunteers in Your Church? Part One

With the new year quickly approaching do you have an established and proven process for developing an army of volunteers to serve in every ministry in your church? Are you preparing people to serve way ahead of time or are you waiting to the last minute and then begging someone to fill the empty position? Are you working a handful of people to death because you don’t have enough volunteers to fill the needs of each ministry in your church? Would you like to start a new ministry in 2016 but can’t because your volunteer pool is too shallow?

I believe this is a common problem. Let me ask you, is about 20% of your congregation doing 80% of the work? If so your ministry is normal because that seems to be the national average. A whole book was written about this problem. Click here to get your copy. What would you say are the essential ingredients and key steps needed to develop a strong army of volunteers in your church? In the following weeks we are going to take a look at the key steps needed to create your customized volunteer development process. Today we will consider just one.


How do you learn about the people in your congregation and discern how they are best suited to serve so you avoid plugging them into a ministry where they won’t fit? You can use a number of tools to evaluate their SHAPE. Rick Warren used this acrostic to explain how people are put together.

Spiritual Gifts
Heart (Passions)

You can take advantage of online tools like Place Ministries, Assess Me or my favorite, Aim Ministry,  to help you discern how people are packaged and prepared to serve. Any number of books can help you evaluate your congregation. Our Book Resource section is full of books for you to analyze before purchasing. A number of examples are at the end of this email. Along with the evaluation tools and book resources we have prepared a video series to help you create your volunteer development process. Click Here to learn about it.

Having said all of this there is no tool or resource or training video that can take the place of your dependence on God through prayer, your walk with Him and His discernment about the people He has brought into your congregation.

The resources below are provided to help you sort out how to develop your process. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have need.


P.S. Your process should include a background check procedure to screen volunteers before they begin to serve. There are any number of companies available to serve your church in this way.

Online Training Video Series:

How to Develop Volunteers for Every Ministry in Your Church

Evaluation Software:

Place Ministries

Assess Me

Aim Ministry

Evaluation Tools with links to amazon:

S.H.A.P.E. by Erik Rees

Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath & Barry Conchie

Personality Type and Religious Leadership by Roy Oswald and Otto Kroeger

Protege by Steve & Cheri Saccone & Mark Batterson

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

No More Mondays by Dan Miller

Living Your Strengths by Albert Winseman, Donald Olifton & Curt Liesveld

Live Your Passion, Tell Your Story, Change the World by Rob Reccord & Randy Singer

Maximizing Your Effectiveness by Aubrey Malphurs & Carl George

Marshall Shannon
 Ministry Design Coach
 Pre-Construction Navigator
 Equipping & Encouraging Pastors and Ministry Leaders 
 Creating Facility Design Solutions

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