In the process of creating Volunteer Rocket, we talked to seven churches who were doing a great job gaining, training and retaining volunteers.  Here’s a profile of Revolution Church in Shertz, Texas, just outside of San Antonio.

Revolution ChurchZak White moved to San Antonio, Texas and launched Revolution Church in 2008.  Today, a staff team of nine people leads the church, where about 700 people attend weekly.  It’s a young, growing church, full of people who used to be far from God.  About 40% of their adult attendance serves on a regular basis.

How does Revolution Church engage volunteers?

Revolution Church says thanks.  And they do it better than most churches.

Every week, Zak spotlights a different Rev Volunteer in a blog segment called REV VOW (Volunteer of the Week).  It’s a simple way to say thanks and recognize people for serving.  Here is one of the recent posts from Zak’s blog.

This week our REV VOW is Russ Farringer. Russ is a POWERHOUSE. This guy does so much at Revolution Church. I can’t believe I get to serve God with him each week.

Russ serves weekly with our safety team that provides security and safety for the Revolution campus. He also helps build set designs, staging and more when we need the help. Russ has two kids and has served in the military or as a military contractor for longer than I’ve been alive. And, he’s got the stories to prove it. Russ, thank you for all you do. You are our REV VOW!

This is a simple way to highlight volunteers and make a big deal out of their contributions.  Giving them a little gift and taking their picture on Sunday turns into church-wide recognition on the Internet.  This is something simple and affordable…nearly every church could do it.

Revolution Also Church Knows How to Throw a Party

In addition to appreciating people weekly, Revolution also throws a party once a year for their volunteers.  “It’s just fun, no training.” says Zak.  Last year, their volunteer appreciation event was a Luau at a water park.

Revolution Volunteer of the Week

The event in 2013 was a throwback prom, with volunteers and leaders dressing up and remembering the 80s.  Organizing a fun event for your volunteers is a great way to show them you care.

Times of training are valuable, but throw a party every now and then and just encourage your volunteers.  When they have relationships to go along with those responsibilities, they will be more fulfilled.

Behind the Scenes in the Volunteer Ministry at Revolution Church

Volunteer Appreciation Event

In a recent conversation, Zak shared a little more about what makes the volunteer ministry tick.

How would you describe the volunteer culture at Revolution?

People are FIRED UP each week to complete our mission together of Loving God, Loving People and starting a spiritual revolution in one life at a time. They feel and know that they are just as important as the guy speaking on stage each week.

What’s the #1 way people step into serving at Revolution?

The BEST way is when Zak challenges people from stage to serve and they are immediately followed up with one on one.

How do you keep volunteers engaged and connected to the ministry?

Show them results.  We always connect the dots for them with statements like this: “Here is a picture of Adam who just got baptized. His first favorite thing about Revolution was the parking team.”  We will send his picture to the parking team with a note of thanks.

What does a healthy volunteer ministry allow you to accomplish?

I believe that a healthy volunteer ministry is one of the most important keys to our church growing from 0 to 700 in just 3 years. It took us a year and a half to finally feel like we had it right…when we began to get it right, our church began to see explosive growth.

How has volunteering helped people follow Jesus?

Volunteering is THE FIRST step we try to get people to take because we have seen it provide more spiritual growth and faster spiritual growth. Serving in the context of the local church, the BRIDE of CHRIS, helps people understand some of the biggest parts of being a Christ follower

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