Dealing with Extremes in Volunteerism

Most church web teams are augmented if not run by volunteers. Many of you reading this right now are helping your church out by giving your time and talents for their digital ministries. You may feel that you always need more help. Just be aware that any extreme in staffing can be a problem. Too few people wears down a team. Too many people becomes a delegation and management nightmare. Here are a few ways you can

Too much help

A lot of churches would love to have this problem. What do you do when your congregation is just knocking down your doors to get involved. Of course you help them feel involved. This means distributing work among more people, yet retaining control in a central place.


The biggest area for help in any digital ministry is content creation. Many content management systems, such as WordPress, have role-based accounts. This way people can create and submit content for approval. Then your assigned editors can review the work and schedule it for publishing. This way you still retain control of what goes out on your website. Yet volunteers get the practice of creating valuable content for your site. This may be producing a blog, maintaining a daily devotional, or publishing your worship song list. Whatever it is, get your volunteers writing great material.


Popular applications such as Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts for social media. Some also have role-based accounts, where they can submit posts for approval. This is a great time saver for your various ministries. Just having a central authority for scheduling content will save your pastors hours every week.


One way your church can help the local community is by helping other churches and organizations. Ask that volunteers sign up for their email lists and follow social media outlets. Keep up to date on what is happening with your local communities. Then submit small pieces of content for scheduling and/or approval. Your church will appear to be in touch with your city. Plus your congregation can be more active in "being the church" as they support these events.

Too few volunteers

The opposite and probably more common problem is to have too few volunteers. Most churches are familiar with this problem. So here are a few ways you can maximize your efforts.

Cut Channels

Take a look at a few statistics and determine if you can cut a social media channel. Where do you have the fewest followers? What channel has the lowest level of engagement? Is there a channel that provides a low level of click-throughs? What is the primary demographic of that channel? Prayerfully consider your options and reduce the amount of work you are doing.

Centralize and Automate

If you use a platform such as WordPress, there are plugins like JetPack that automatically share your content on social media. Use your website as your central hub to post your church's content. Then use a tool like HootSuite to schedule all your more interactive posts. Plus with the addition of an Instragram, you can manage multiple channels through one tool.

Go Mobile

While it may seem to rule your life, a smartphone can help one person do a lot on social media. You can keep up to date with notifications around the clock. It may seem tedious, but this can spread out your social media interactions throughout the day. That way you do not have to sit down for hours at a time responding to posts.

Action Item

Whether you have too many, or too few volunteers, scale to meet their needs. Volunteering is a great way to gain job experience. So any dips in the economy may result in an overage of volunteers. Yet when those people get full-time jobs, you will face a shortage of help. Use these tips to scale your team to fit your needs.

Photo courtesy of Anissa Thompso

Author: Stephen Morrissey

I have been making websites since 1996, and using social media since 2006. My current profession is designing user experiences for corporate software, websites, and mobile applications. I started sharing my knowledge with the world in 2011, about a year after a revival in my faith.