In the process of writing Volunteer Rocket, I talked to seven churches who were doing a great job gaining, training and retaining volunteers.  Here’s a profile of Frazer United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

What does Frazer do better than most? 

While people can get plugged in throughout the year, Frazer uses an annual campaign in the fall to engage people.  This campaign began as a stewardship emphasis, but grew to include small group involvement and serving.

They take a holistic approach to spiritual growth, combining generosity, discipleship and volunteering.  Once a year in the fall, they lead their entire church through the campaign and it culminates on a big day.  They ask people to make a commitment for the upcoming year.

They treat this campaign much like a church would treat a capital campaign.  In other words, it’s a really big deal.   Here are a few of the things Frazer does during this campaign.

  • They choose captains to engage people throughout the month-long campaign
  • They choose a theme and design messages to motivate people. 
  • They organize a dinner to kick things off.
  • People turn in commitment cards.
  • They follow up well.

The campaign usually happens in the late fall, so people are ready to go at the first of the year.

Behind the Scenes with Patrick Quinn of Frazer United Methodist Church

In a recent conversation, Patrick Quinn shared a little more about what makes the volunteer ministry at Frazer United Methodist Church work so well.

What percentage of your adult attendance volunteer on a regular basis? 65%. Serving is how we follow the example of Jesus.  There are countless scriptures that tell us that just as He served, so should we.  Sometimes our life experiences lead us to serve in particular areas.  He has lead you to that area and by serving, you are following Him.  Here at Frazer, we not only follow Jesus within the walls of the church, but we follow Jesus out into our community as well.  

How would you describe the volunteer culture? We are very blessed to have many dedicated volunteers, so I would have to say that our volunteer culture is good.  We have older people showing and mentoring younger people about volunteering.  It’s really inspirational to see a 92-year-old lady showing a 30-something year old how to use equipment in the kitchen or showing her the most efficient way to make tea for 500.  We’re praying that this year we will see more of that.  Our older generation knows about serving and we hope to educate more young people and show them the blessings of serving that are so well modeled by our older generation.  It works the other way too, when a young mother of 3 takes the time to greet on a Sunday morning.  It makes the older person say, ‘Wow, if she has time for that, I have no excuse’.  Volunteering is such a blessing!

What’s the #1 way people step into serving at Frazer UMC? The annual campaign is the largest on-ramp for people to step into serving, however, they can come on during the year through the STEP classes, which help assimilate new attenders into the life of the church.

What does a healthy volunteer ministry allow you to accomplish? Your staff is free to coordinate and help direct the volunteers who keep the ministry going by serving.  New ministry ideas become new ministries.  Long time ministries get a fresh look.  Enthusiasm is contagious! 

How has volunteering helped people follow Jesus? Serving helps people grow as a disciple by aligning their life with God’s word of putting others before themselves.

Frazer United Mehthodist Church is just one of the churches we profiled for Volunteer Rocket. The core coaching program is a simple, step-by-step process your church can implement to gain, train and retain volunteers. It’s a how-to and done-for-you system. If you’d like to be a beta tester or want more information, fill out the form below.

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