Church Volunteer Scheduling: Nightmares Avoided

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Have you had that dream in the middle of the night that you completely missed a class, test, game, work assignment or something really important?  That's what Saturday nights are for church staff responsible for staffing dozens and sometimes hundreds of volunteers every Sunday.  It can be a nightmare.
First of all, you have to recruit all these volunteers.  How do you do that?  Obviously, you do announcements but seldom does that come anywhere near doing the trick especially for children's ministry in a young, growing church.  Then once you get their names, do you email, text or call them? If they want time to think about it, how do your remember when to call them? What about people who don't call back?  Great news, friends, church software can help you with all of this. The system works like a combination of marketing software to manage email/text communication and sales software to coordinate personal calls and follow up assignments.
Once volunteers are recruited they are put into teams corresponding to their task assignments, frequency of service, time of service or a combination of these.  These teams are the hub from which the scheduling, reminder and weekly management of the team is managed.  The pioneers of volunteer scheduling software focused on building software just for this purpose.  But now there is Church Management Software like Churchteams that integrates these features with the full application.  This allows you to keep all your people data in one place rather than having to keep multiple databases synched. It also makes the transition from recruiting to scheduling a breeze.
The scheduling part of the software is flexible to use anyway you want.  If you want to schedule all the ushers for first and third Sundays for the next 4 months, no problem.  Just select the dates, then select the people and send an invitation for them to accept or decline the assignment.  If they know they are supposed to serve then don't bother with the email asking for an RSVP, just build the schedule.  The advantage of the RSVP is that it gives the team leader notice to extend an invitation to substitutes.  These may include people serving on other, related teams.  You can assign roles or let people select the role they want to take on the team. 
Once scheduled, you can customize the days you want reminders sent to those who have accepted the opportunity or been assigned to serve.  You might choose for instance to send a first reminder 6 days or more out from the service date.  This reminder has a link that allows the person to go back in and change their status if something came up.  This notifies the team leader well ahead of time of the need for a substitute. Then schedule the second reminder just a day or two before the actual service date.  The great thing about the reminders is that once you set them up, they just work.  You don't have to do another thing.  So, if you schedule a team for 4 months out.  Every week the system pushes out the reminders for you as the team leader and all you have to do is respond to notifications sent to you if people change their status from accept to decline.  
Need a report each week to see the list of people scheduled to serve?  No problem, just print the volunteer schedule for that Sunday.  It will show you all the people by team.  If you want to add in contact information just in case, you have the option to do that. In fact, print out this report the Friday before and keep it handy as an assurance that everything is set for Sunday.
The great thing about nightmares is that they are just dreams that you eventually wake up from.  Then once you are awake again you remember that you graduated from high school or college years ago; or your playing career ended long ago or that work assignment is completed.  For volunteer scheduling, church management software like Churchteams can be your assurance that everything is okay and ready for Sunday.  So, fall back to sleep and rest well.
 

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