How to Celebrate with Volunteers like It’s 1999

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“What you celebrate gets repeated.”

That quote has seemed to be coming up a lot lately for me.

The problem is I’m the type of person who wants to immediately take the next hill as soon as we’ve taken the current one.

I don’t naturally stop to congratulate and celebrate accomplishment because there’s always more to be done.

But “what you celebrate gets repeated.”

So eventually I had a thought: Maybe I should start celebrating what I want repeated.

I know, profound, right?

So I sat down with a couple leaders at the church where I serve to figure out how I could celebrate with volunteers on a weekly basis along with throwing a couple big parties during the year.

Here’s 3 things we started doing, and as a result we’ve seen a huge increase in the things we want repeated.

Celebrate with Volunteers Every Sunday

For this I follow Dave Ramsey’s KISS rule: Keep It Simple Stupid.

During our Large Group story and response time (~15-20 minutes), we send all our Small Group Leaders to their rooms to get ready (You can read more about this idea in this post:How Your Volunteers can Prep, Grow, and Build Relationships…In Service).

As the Small Group Leaders are getting ready we have a Small Group Coach stop in with each Group and tell them something encouraging that’s been happening in the Kids Ministry and how their Small Group role played an important role in that.

Celebrate with Volunteers on Monday

(It doesn’t have to be Monday; that’s just what works best for us.)

I send a text that goes out to every volunteer that tells a short story from the day before that celebrates something we want repeated.

To keep the text from being too long, we have a 2 tweet rule (It has to be <288 characters).

Here’s an example: “Yesterday 4 kids started following Jesus, 3 kids shared that they heard from God, and 2 parents told us how big of an impact we’re having on their families. Thanks so much for everything you do to create an environment when things like this are happening every Sunday. We couldn’t do it without you!”

Celebrate with a couple Big Parties

We were doing 2 big volunteer trainings each year.

What we realized was that there was very little celebration in those trainings.

So we made a rule that at least half the time of each training would be celebratory in some way.

Good parties start with good food, so we open with an awesome meal and hangout time.

When that’s over we share some of our favorite stories from the past 6 months.

Then we have our volunteers get in groups and share with each other how they saw God work through the Kids Ministry.

Once that’s done, we go into the more typical training stuff.

As you can see, this isn’t something that has to be super expensive, draining, or over-produced, it just takes intentionality.

So that’s how we celebrate with volunteers like it’s 1999.

Is there anything you do in your ministry to celebrate with volunteers that’s been super effective? If so, leave a comment!

And if this post was helpful to you, it’d be awesome if you shared it!

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Brandon Horst

I am passionate about family, especially my amazing wife, Hannah, my daughter, Emery, and my son Tristan. I am also passionate about helping Family Ministry Leaders lead better. I love new ideas, innovation, and collaborating with other leaders to make those ideas and innovations better. I currently serve as the Next Gen Pastor at Centerpointe Church in Fairfax, VA.

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Brandon Horst

I am passionate about family, especially my amazing wife, Hannah, my daughter, Emery, and my son Tristan. I am also passionate about helping Family Ministry Leaders lead better. I love new ideas, innovation, and collaborating with other leaders to make those ideas and innovations better. I currently serve as the Next Gen Pastor at Centerpointe Church in Fairfax, VA.

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1 Response

  1. Karen H. says:

    Great article. Thanks!

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