Meet Our Church: Recognizing Volunteers on Facebook

Meet Our Church: Recognizing Volunteers on Facebook

August 11, 2014 by

It seems as if everyone is looking for good social media content these days. Regardless of the medium, the prevailing wisdom is to post things that are visual and/or tell a story. We’ve recently stumbled onto a weekly post we’ve entitled “Meet Our Church,” which seems to accomplish both of these goals and has several other benefits as well.

I guess you could say we stole “Meet Our Church.” Is there such a thing as “stealing” in the church communication world? Perhaps “borrowed” is a better term. Anyway, we heard of a church that would recognize a different volunteer each month by posting their picture on a bulletin board. We liked the idea and decided to modernize it to fit current, 21st century media consumption habits. So each Monday afternoon, we recognize a volunteer by name and include their picture with a short description of what they do at the church. You can see a few samples of these “Meet Our Church” posts herehere and here.

These series of posts are by far our most popular. They consistently produce more interaction and sharing than any other content we post. Beyond the interaction, there are other strategic byproducts:

1. Raised Awareness of Individual Ministries
The short description that is included with these posts highlights the volunteers’ position and the ministry they serve in. What ministry leader doesn’t like that kind of airtime?

2. Affirmation of Volunteers
Volunteers get burned out quickly, especially when they don’t feel appreciated. “Meet Our Church” allows a specific ministry leader to affirm the volunteer, while also allowing the whole church to chime in and thank them for their service.

3. Every Role is Important
Most of the volunteers who are recognized serve behind the scenes. Honoring these volunteers communicates to the church that they are valued just as much as those who serve “up front,” who tend to receive most of the praise.

4. Community
It’s been fun to see people comment, thanking the volunteer for their service or even making some good-hearted jokes. This is social media at its best.

Make It Your Own
Feel free to “borrow” this idea and use it in your own church. Posting pictures and short excerpts on Facebook for our volunteers is just one of the many ways to appreciate the people who help out in the church every day.

Maybe you want to take it a step further and feature volunteers in videos or have them give short testimonies during the service. Not only does this give volunteers well-deserved recognition, but their stories also inspire others. You can encourage more volunteers and tell better stories than the same old ‘here’s what’s coming’ announcements.

Tweak it as much or as little as you see fit, and let us know what works and what doesn’t.

Photo by Traj.
Post By:

Tim Briggs

Tim Briggs is the creative media pastor at Church at Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C. When not writing or reading blogs, he likes to rock in a rocking chair.
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16 Responses to “Meet Our Church: Recognizing Volunteers on Facebook”

  • Kelley Hartnett
    August 11, 2014


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  • Becky
    August 11, 2014

    Definitely going to “borrow.”

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  • Tanja
    August 11, 2014

    I started to do this… Once… Before everything else communications took over my brain… Now I’m motivated!

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  • Dave Shrein
    August 12, 2014

    LOVE IT Tim! What you’ve just outlined is one of the easiest things to neglect: celebrating others. Thanks for the gracious reminder. When I originally read the post title I thought it was going to be about how to recruit volunteers and though that’s not the direct intention of the content, I feel like doing what you’ve suggested will naturally recruit new volunteers!

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  • Mickey Seward
    August 12, 2014

    We’ve been doing something similar on our Facebook page over the past couple months. We call it #FacesOfMobberly. A few examples:

    We post them weekly. The Faces of Mobberly posts have become our most popular and shared regular posts. We figured that people connect with people more than they connect with things and events, and that thought has definitely proven correct.

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  • Stephanie Carroll
    August 12, 2014

    I love this! Thanks!!

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  • Michele Koch
    August 12, 2014

    I’m totally doing this. Great suggestion. (in fact already posted a shout out to my office volunteers today!).

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  • Denise
    August 13, 2014

    I started doing weekly posts on our FB page thanking our volunteers by name this summer. Definitely some of our most popular content. I really like this idea of introducing individual volunteers. Definitely borrowing this idea. Thanks for being a wellspring of ideas.

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  • Suzanne Skerjanc
    August 18, 2014

    I would love to start implementing this on our FB page but had the question of privacy. When taking the picture of a volunteer, we always let them know that it will be posted to FB and if they are okay with that. Is this verbal “permission” adequate or does there need to be written consent from the person before post their picture? I would think not but this was a question that our business administrator brought up to me. He was concerned with liability issues. Any insight to this would be appreciated.

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  • @PaulSteinbrueck
    September 5, 2014

    Awesome idea! Definitely sharing this with Christian Web Trends readers and the #ChSocM community.

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  • Chris Britton
    September 29, 2014

    This is a great idea and I’m actually working to roll this out at our church. However, I’ve received quite a bit of pushback from several people who are afraid that by highlighting only a few people (one person per month) that we may upset/hurt the feelings of other volunteers.

    In your experience and research have you found this to be a problem? What can we do to avoid this?

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    • Kevin D. Hendricks
      September 30, 2014

      Chris, that’s a hard question. This might be tough to hear, but my hunch is if you have people feeling that way then your church isn’t doing a good job of celebrating, recognizing and thanking your volunteers. That kind of response might be revealing people who are frustrated and feeling unappreciated. Getting upset when they see other people recognized is a classic selfish response. They feel like they want the credit.

      Part of the problem is clearly with those folks. If they’re volunteering for the recognition, they don’t understand service. That’s a pastoral issue and going to be harder to address. But it also could be that your church needs to do a better job thanking volunteers.

      An effort like this shouldn’t be the only thing your church is doing.

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      • Kevin D. Hendricks
        September 30, 2014

        Chris, another thing that might help is doing it more often. If you’re highlighting volunteers once a month, that’s only 12 people a year. It can be easy to forget that you’re cycling through people every month and then you might be stoking the hurt feelings of those unappreciated volunteers.

        But if you do it every week, that’s 52 people you’re highlighting, you’ll get to focus on more people and it might create a better sense of community.

        It might also help to end each one with a general thanks for all your volunteers. Acknowledge that you’re highlighting just one of many and everybody deserves a thank you.

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  • Rebecca
    January 6, 2015

    YES! I will borrow this!

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  • julian barros
    January 26, 2017

    I’m IN! I will borrow this…great suggestion.

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