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ChMS Forum: how to engage volunteers with technology

ChMS_2“Church members need to feel they are a vital part of Christ’s work and that they are valuable to the community of believers.”

By Angela Huenefeld

This is what we hear time and again when speaking with pastors regarding volunteers. They emphasize that church members desire to feel needed — and the Church has the responsibility of effectively plugging them into the local church community.

Volunteer_Grid_ViewShelby Systems has provided technology for the church and non-profit community for more than 35 years. In response to our customers’ growing needs and desires to effectively engage and mobilize church members as volunteers, we created the Volunteer Tracking product. Our customers were looking for ways to easily communicate serving opportunities to their members, schedule volunteers, and track volunteers’ service hours while helping members feel they are a vital part of the church and valuable to the community of believers.Assign_People

So, how do you effectively engage your church members?
With the Arena Volunteer Tracking product, church staff can:

  • Set up serving opportunities and group volunteers based on their areas of serving interest
  • Assign and track volunteers through training, background checks and acceptance of the serving opportunity
  • Communicate with volunteers through email and text messaging
  • View volunteer lists with filter options for specific serving opportunities with the options to Word merge, email, text message or export the list to an Excel spreadsheet
  • View a color-coded calendar showing serving opportunity dates that are active, inactive and past
  • Accept or decline for a volunteer who is unable to respond to a
    serving request.


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Volunteers can:

  • View serving opportunities and sign up to serve using the mobile app or their church’s website
  • Accept or decline serving opportunities by responding to email requests
  • View their upcoming serving opportunities.

Once a serving opportunity is created, volunteers are assigned and emailed a notification with the option to accept or decline the serving opportunity. At any time, staff members can view the serving opportunity and see which volunteers have accepted, declined or are still pending.

A color-coded calendar for the current month displays so church staff and members easily see serving opportunity dates. The calendar shows active (blue), inactive (light blue), and past (grey) service dates plus Staff_Member_Calendarblack-out dates (red).

Occasionally, a volunteer might indicate verbally or by phone call their intentions regarding a serving opportunity. Church staff can manually accept or decline for the volunteer.

Accept_Decline_OptionTracking volunteers can be a time-consuming job, no matter how large or small your church. Technology helps to tame this difficult but rewarding job.

Angela Huenefeld is Technical Content Writer for Shelby Systems, Inc.in Cordova, TN. The company’s Volunteer Tracking integrates smoothly into Arena ChMS and websites for ease of access.


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