Volunteering at your church is great because it helps you build relationships with other members and gives you a chance to help others. If you’re looking for ways to give back to your community, volunteering at your church will open numerous opportunities to serve your church as well as your local community.
This article will cover the best ways to volunteer at church. We’ll also look at some of the most common volunteer opportunities available at churches.
Table of Contents
- Why Volunteer At Your Church?
- What Do Volunteers Do At Churches?
- How Do I Volunteer At A Church?
- What Will You Do Next?
Why Volunteer At Your Church?
Volunteering at your church can be a gratifying experience! It’s easy to get involved in many different areas. This is because churches offer a wide range of services, not just the Sunday worship service. As a result, you have opportunities that make the church experience more rewarding for others and outreach opportunities that seek to improve the community your church is in.
Your church may offer several ways to volunteer. Some of these include:
• Youth Ministry
We’ll get into each of these in more detail to help you find the volunteer options that best fit your spiritual gifts.
What Do Volunteers Do At Churches?
Volunteers do many different jobs at churches. These jobs range from helping people get parked to attend a church service to feeding the homeless in the local community. There are so many ways to volunteer at your church.
Often, people think they want to be church leaders, but the most critical work is done at the volunteer level. Don’t get me wrong, we need our church leaders, but without church volunteers, the work doesn’t get done!
Below, we list many of the most common jobs that church volunteers do. If your church doesn’t have these options, then perhaps you can be the person to make it happen!
When we first went to our church, I’ll never forget the door greeters. They created an immediate feeling of warmth and gratitude. If you have a contagious smile and a heart to say hello, greeting people may be the perfect volunteer opportunity.
This is an essential job because not only are you saying hello to return visitors, you’re the first impression for new visitors when they walk through the doors.
There are a few ways to volunteer for this job. First, some people drive official church vehicles to help transport people to and from the service. This is especially helpful for people who don’t have the physical or financial means to attend the service.
Other transport positions will depend on how big your church is. If your church is large enough, you may need volunteers to help direct traffic or shuttle people on golf carts from their cars to the church entrance.
If you enjoy praying for people, volunteering for the prayer team for church services might be perfect. Prayer teams meet regularly to pray for specific needs (often called prayer meetings), or they might stand at the altar after the service and pray for people who come up to them. Either way, you can provide the gift of listening and praying for people in need.
Ushers assist with directing people to empty seats during church services. The duties of the ushers vary depending on the size of the church. Ushers usually greet people as they enter the sanctuary and help guide them to seats.
Ushers may serve communion during the service or collect the offering baskets. These ushers often wear clothing that identifies them as part of the communion team.
Ushers are also entrusted with ensuring all walkways are clear and escorting out unruly visitors. Ushers are the Swiss army knife of making a church service happen seamlessly.
The nursery is another excellent place to volunteer if you love children. Nurseries are the place where babies and toddlers play (or nap) while parents worship. There’s just something so special about seeing tiny tots enjoying their world. The nursery provides a safe environment for just that!
If you have a soft spot in your heart for caring for babies and toddlers, then the nursery might be a perfect opportunity!
Kids Program Volunteers
Another excellent option for kids programs volunteers is helping with Sunday school classes. Sunday school classes are often broken up into age groups. For example, you could teach a class for preschoolers or older elementary-aged students.
Often, churches will have the parents of the kids in the program volunteer on a rotating basis, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of room for help!
Choir and Worship Team
Volunteering for the choir is a great way to get involved in music ministry. Choirs range in size from small ensembles to huge choirs and sing hymns and songs during the worship portion of the service.
Worship teams are a more modern take on the more traditional choir. Regardless of the style of music or worship team structure, your church likely needs talented people to help lead the worship and music in the church. Even if singing isn’t your gift, there are opportunities for playing instruments.
Some churches may even have volunteer opportunities for dance if that’s one of your God-given gifts.
Churches are known for food banks as part of their homeless ministry. Even small food banks are no small job, and churches need lots of help with this particular service. Churches play a significant role in serving the homeless in communities along with homeless shelters. Food banks seem simple, but when you consider that a food bank consists of:
- Collecting food donations
- Sourcing additional food
- Sorting through food
- Storing food
- and serving food
You begin to realize how many jobs there are. For example, the food needs to be inspected and sorted when donated. We’re now dealing with expiration dates, food safety, organizing food for easy retrieval, and serving/distributing the food.
If you’re an avid video editor, audiophile, or graphic designer, then you’ll probably want to consider becoming a volunteer for the AV team at your church. Many churches may hire professional AV technicians to set up and operate the sound system and lights for services, but many others aren’t so fortunate. So if you have the skills to create outstanding visuals, operate cameras, lighting equipment, or sound mixing boards, this is probably the opportunity for you.
This is actually one of the first volunteer opportunities that my husband and I did when we married. We created the lessons and activities for our church youth group ministry. It was a wonderful time, and one of the added benefits that we didn’t know about at the time was getting to see the kids grow into adults and go on to do amazing things. For example, one of our youth group kids loved flying remote control helicopters and planes before and after the youth group service. He is now a pilot who flies planes across the country. Amazing!
Set Up for Events
Special events like weddings, baptisms, a church social, and other celebrations need extra hands to help with the setup. Sometimes, a staff person plans these types of events, but they always need volunteers to do the setup. This might include setting up chairs, tables, decorations, and anything else required for the event.
Once the event is over, you need to clean up and take down all of the decorations. One of the most fun aspects of this job is seeing how much fun everyone had at the event.
Food and Kitchen Service Volunteers
When large groups of people meet frequently, there will always be food and beverage needs. They had the most beautiful Friday night service at a church we attended. Afterward, all attendees could go to the church’s courtyard and enjoy meals and drinks at meager costs. This helped fund the food bank and the soup kitchen.
This church has a whole kitchen and a serving staff of very talented volunteers. These were also the people who would cook the food and serve it for the soup kitchen. So, if your passion is food, then your church’s kitchen staff might need a dash of you!
Another great way to give back to your church is volunteering to maintain it. This includes cleaning the building, sweeping floors, painting walls, fixing appliances, and any other maintenance the church needs. Often, you are one of the unsung heroes of the church. You don’t think of the work you do as crucial until someone points out what a good job you’ve done.
This is also an opportunity to learn new skills and possibly be mentored by more skilled and experienced people than yourself.
One of the most underrated ways to volunteer at your church is to offer to mow the lawns around the buildings. Most churches have large lawns that need to be maintained. So what’s the first thing people see when they drive up to a church? Their lawn and landscaping.
Visit People in the Hospital
Some congregations are so large that a few members are in the hospital at any given moment. It’s a sad fact of life. But, as a volunteer representative of the church, you can visit members in the hospital to talk with them, pray for them, and even bring them communion.
If you love traveling, then mission trips are a great way to serve others while doing something adventurous. Mission trips allow you to travel to different places in less developed countries. These trips usually last anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. You may help dig wells or build houses, schools, hospitals, and other structures during this time.
You get to experience new cultures, meet new people, and make some lifelong friends. I’ve often heard from mission trip attendees how they felt that trip impacted them, and often they believe they got more out of it than they gave.
Invite Others to Church
I’m sure you’re already aware that inviting people to church is one of the best ways to share the gospel, but did you ever think of it as a form of volunteering? In a way, it’s like being in the outreach ministry! If you want to invite someone to come to church, consider asking them if they’d like to join you and your family for Sunday services. This might be the easiest way to dip your toes into the world of helping your church.
How Do I Volunteer At A Church?
You know what you want to do as a volunteer, but now you want to know how to do it, great! Often, it depends on the size of the church. If you belong to a large church, they may have a volunteer ministry you can contact, a church office, or a staffed information desk in the church’s lobby that can point you in the right direction.
If you belong to a smaller church, you can ask someone from the church leadership how to volunteer your spiritual gifts to help.
If all else fails, ask someone who is doing what you hope to do. For example, if you want to volunteer for the food bank, show up at the food bank and ask. If you’re going to volunteer to be in the choir, wait until after the service and ask one of the choir members who you should speak with.
What Will You Do Next?
Now that you know how to volunteer at your church, what will you do next? Here are some ideas:
Create a list of things you would like to do as a volunteer. Then, go through your list and re-organize it based on what you would like to do most and your church’s options. Often, you can get more information from your church’s website.
The most important thing to do is to start. It’s nice to think of things, but getting things done is much more satisfying. So take your next steps and be happy that you’re making the world a better place!
For more tips on volunteering and other activities, make sure you read: