Published: 7 months ago

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.
  • 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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photo credit

  1. Tanys Mosher says:

    Hey Danny thanks for the layout – how would you handle more than 2 services?

    • Danny says:

      Tanys, great question! When we were doing three services at some of our campuses, we just cut and pasted the second service onto the third. Some vols might occasionally serve two services, but for the most part they’d choose one to serve and one to attend.

  2. Warren Wilson says:

    If it helps, here is another option…

    Rather than transitioning teams between services (we used to do that), we moved to a system of one team for both services. Here’s what that looks like in our context…

    –Volunteers arrive 1 hour prior to the first service for VIP time (Vision, Information, Prayer)
    –Volunteers in place 30 minutes prior to start
    –Still have an option of hearing the message during one of the services while the skeleton crew covers

    With this system, we found the following benefits…

    –We offer a 6-week rotation…a volunteer serves one Saturday or one Sunday, once every 6 weeks (easy ask at 7-8 times per year)
    –The chances/frequency of your team hitting a holiday or holiday weekend is minimized and it is spread across all teams
    –One VIP time each day which minimizes the transitional stress that can occur between services


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