Q&A: How Do You Stagger Vols Across Multiple Services?
I’m trying to get a better handle on team transitions between weekend services. At what point does the longer serving team for the first service leave their positions and the next team replace them?
[Larry Stege, Pastor, Guest and Member Services, Pinelake Church Reservoir Campus, Brandon, MS]
Each of our campuses might have a slightly different outworking of this, but the overall principle is that we want to create environments where there are no ghost towns. That means that whenever a guest shows up (even if they’re 45 minutes late), there is a smiling volunteer waiting to serve them and help interpret what they’re about to walk into. And that means that we champion an attend one, serve one mentality, scaling back to a skeleton crew when necessary. (Click those links for a fuller context behind the explanation below.)
So while each campus may have a different expression, there are some scheduling rules of thumb that all churches should consider if they’re going to be fully present for guests. If I were in charge of the planet, this is what I’d recommend:
- First service volunteers arrive at least 30 minutes before the service begins.
- Once the sermon begins (about 20 minutes into the service), scale back to a skeleton crew and send everyone else to VHQ.
- Plan to have two skeleton crew shifts of 20-25 minutes each, so that no one person is serving the entire time.
- 10 minutes before the service ends, the full team is back in place for the exit. (Some team members like seating team – who take up the offering – might arrive back earlier.)
- First service volunteers stay for part of the between-service transition, but second service volunteers (who have attended the first service) quickly hit the restrooms, grab their lanyards, and get in place (goal: within 10 minutes after the service ends).
- First and second service volunteers overlap between services, which is helpful because that’s going to be the highest traffic flow of the day at nearly every station. First service hands off updates, news, and special information to second service before “clocking out” and heading to the second service.
- Repeat bullets 2-3 above.
- Second service vols will stay in place until around fifteen minutes after the end of the service, or whenever traffic flow significantly decreases (whichever comes first).
If that just made your mind explode a little bit, here’s a visual breakdown, using a scenario of a 9 and 10:45 service, 75 minutes each (click the picture to enlarge):
How do you stagger your volunteers?
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