Appreciate Your People Every Day
It's really hard to form relationships with all of them, so I think what you should do is to just form them one at a time. Like, the time you wish that you had time to do that with every volunteer, you just do it one at a time. Like this week, I'm going to try to call one person, or this week I'm going to try and take one person for coffee. Or this Sunday I'm going to try to have two really good conversations with volunteers. More than just a hi, like when we're passing in the hallway. But this Sunday I want to find two volunteers, and I want to spend two minutes to really ask them how their week went, how they are you doing, and how their kids are. So there is no way you can have those conversations with all your volunteers on Sunday, but you might be able to have it with one or two of your volunteers. There's no way you can meet with every one of your volunteers this week, but maybe one of your volunteers you can meet at Starbucks. Or maybe one of your volunteers, you can call them on the phone not because you need anything, but because you want to tell them that you appreciate them.
One thing I've done for a long, long time I've sent thank you cards. Every day I send somebody a thank you card, and it takes me two minutes, but I do it every day. What I'll do is I'll send a card that just says, "Hey Anna, this is Ryan. I walked by your class on Sunday, and I saw you on the floor reading books with those two year olds. I just want to thank you for investing in the kids of our church. You're a blessing." It takes me two minutes and the price of a stamp. I can't send every volunteer a thank you card today, but I can send one volunteer a thank you card.
Those thank you cards really go a long way with people. You can text people, and I think texting is fine. Text somebody and just say, "Hey, just want to let you know I'm thinking about you and praying for you." But it's also cool to get stuff in the mail because we live in such a digital world where everything is electronic, everybody's texting, using Facebook, and all this stuff. Some of this old school stuff, like actually sending somebody something in the mail is actually cool. So I think there's things you can do for everybody. You can do an appreciation event for everybody, whatever, but I think every week or every day, do something for one person that you wish you had time to do for everybody.
Your #1 fan,