Faith-based Service

Volunteering directly connected to religious affiliation (even if the work is secular), sponsored by a faith community.

Faith-Based Initiatives: What Might This Mean?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
The Holiday Season: Going Beyond "Feel-Good" Volunteering, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1997
Leading Volunteers, Nancy Beach, 2007
A Title Without a Place, Sue Mallory, The Equipping Church, pp. 40-41, Zondervan/Leadership Training Network, 2001
What Not to Say, Simon and Karen Fox, pp. 11-13, Adventures in Caring Foundation, 2000
White Collarist Volunteerism, 2010
blog posting on the "Making Chutney" site with a strong opinion about church-based volunteer "management"

From the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Focuses on prevention, treatment, and recovery services for substance abuse and mental illness; however, the principles described apply to any field and may help organizations understand how to start and manage a successful volunteer program.

, 2005, pp. 56
compiled by Ellen Steele, the Volunteer Center at Serve Rhode Island to promote volunteerism and service projects in faith-based communities, 2008, pp. 52
Children's Ministry

All about working with children through church activities, including Sunday School curricula. Has a section on volunteer management. Free site, but requires registration.

The Equipper

A site for those who "lead church volunteers and want to improve volunteerism in their church." Filled with free resources, including PowerPoint presentations, training activities, and a free monthly e-newsletter.

The Equipper Newsletter

Free monthly e-mailing on subjects of interest to those who lead church volunteers. Archives available online.

Faith and Voluntary Action

Summary of study by the Institute for Volunteering Research, UK.

Islamic Relief USA Day of Dignity

"Day of Dignity is not just a one-day event, it is an effort to mobilize communities and establish long-lasting programs that foster the spirit of service and volunteerism all year round."

Ministry Tools Resource Center

Pointers for placing church volunteers into ministry, including tools for assessment, profiling, and recruitment.

Spark: The Center for Jewish Service Learning at the Jewish Funds for Justice

To inspire a commitment to service as an important expression of Jewish identity. Site focuses on volunteer resources and service-learning from a Jewish perspective, explaining how to apply religious concepts of service.

Synagogue Social Action Resource Guide

A six-section guide from the Jewish United Fund of Chicago to engaging volunteers in many synagogue service projects.

Volunteer Centered

Site from James Higginbotham, a church leadership coach, with various free resources for congregational volunteer leadership.

Volunteer Management Capacity in America's Charities and Congregations: A Briefing Report

2004 study by the Urban Institute, UPS Foundation, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the USA Freedom Corps (34 page PDF).

Volunteer Spot

Free site designed to enable anyone to quickly mobilize, coordinate , and schedule volunteers in their community, congregation and social network to accomplish projects more easily.

Youth Worker

Youth ministry resources, lessons and group games. Articles for and by youth in faith-based settings, with emphasis on topics related to volunteering, organizational relationships, and leadership.

This series of three webinars was produced by the Anglican Church of Canada.  Given by two well-known Canadian practitioners in volunteer engagement, Marilyn MacKenzie and Suzanne Lawson, these free, on-demand sessions will help you better understand "how lay ministry is mobilized and led, and the ways that people’s God-given gifts can be best used in service of God’s mission."  (2015) Watch the sessions directly from this site.

Very funny and well-done video by Bellevue Presbyterian Church using a parody of the song "Stayin' Alive" by the BeeGees to thank their volunteers -- with a nice closing by the minister. Great idea that any setting could adapt.

Faith-based Settings

Obligation to serve
Submitted by Sean Conyngham, Church of the Presentation , Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA

We believe that through baptism there is both an entitlement and an obligation to serve. We emphasize that members are not ministering as individuals but as members of a faith community. It therefore becomes the church's obligation to develop a supervisory system that facilitates membership involvement, whether service is in the church or in the community. The three elements of the supervisory system are: 1) processes for recruitment; 2) preparation for service in ministry; and 3) opportunities to reflect on one's experience in ministry.

In a faith community recruitment focuses not just on the need or role to be filled, but also on assisting the individual in discerning his/her gifts. Finding an avenue for volunteers to utilize their gifts and/or desires makes the ministry and volunteer experience richer and more rewarding. It is important for volunteers to realize that they are being called by God.

Preparation for service may involve formal training or informal mentoring. This empowers volunteers to perform their roles with confidence and meaning.

Giving individuals the opportunity to share their experiences is the most essential supervisory role. Through faith sharing or theological reflection volunteers are able to tell their stories and reflect on how they have grown through their experience. Growth in faith is the result that members expect from their volunteer/ministry experience and, indeed it is the Biblical purpose of service. When members feel their growth there is a sense of satisfaction and motivation. This is essential for the success of any ministry.