These Ministry Volunteer Surveys Are A Source of Leadership Gold

The last presidential election was bonkers. Aside from the obvious oddities, the other big story was about polling data.

During every election that I can remember, polls have dominated the news cycle for the couple of years leading up to the election. News organizations, polling companies, and nonprofits all vie for attention with polls covering every conceivable aspect of American life.

Polls have been the best way to put your finger on the pulse of large groups of people forever. Even Jesus used a poll! (Remember Matthew 16, “Who do they say the Son of Man is?”)

As a ministry leader, you should absolutely be polling or surveying your volunteer teams. There’s no reason for you to be in the dark about how your teams are doing, whether people are engaged, how people feel about serving, how you can improve everyone’s experience, and challenges that your volunteers have.

The insight you can gain from a single survey is likely to move you to change some things for the better.

New Volunteer Follow-up Survey

Years ago, I was leading a large team of volunteers. Because I was unable to meet 1-on-1 with each person very often, I implemented two surveys to continually gauge my team’s health.

The first survey is a follow-up for new volunteers after their first time serving. It’s a very simple, 7-question survey designed to measure how well new volunteers are being introduced to their new team and role. Here are the 7 questions.

  1. Rate your overall experience during your first time serving with {{ministry_name}}.
  2. How friendly were the people you were serving with?
  3. How enjoyable was your first experience serving with {{ministry_name}}?
  4. How prepared did you feel going into your first time serving with {{ministry_name}}?
  5. What is one thing we can do to make the first time someone serves better in the future?
  6. What is one thing you expect God to do through your time serving with {{ministry_name}}?
  7. Your responses will be sent directly to {{leader_name}} at {{leader_email}}. Are you okay with that?

This survey is sent out as an online form with a link in an email. New volunteer can fill it out on their computer or smartphone and I get their response via email.

I’ve created a template of this survey you can use with any Google account. Copy it here and modify it to fit your needs:

Volunteer Engagement Survey

Doing a “satisfaction survey” with new volunteers is important and tells you valuable things about your ministry. Those new volunteers will one day be the core of your ministry and getting them started on the right foot is vital.

But there’s an even more valuable survey that you should be running two to four times per year…every quarter or every other quarter, with every volunteer on your teams. It’s the volunteer engagement survey.

The engagement survey is the most valuable source of information about your volunteers that you’ll ever find. You’ll learn who is and isn’t happy or fulfilled, what are their frustrations, how likely they are to invite a friend to serve, how likely they are to quit the team, how you’re doing as a leader in equipping them, where you can improve as a leader, where you can help your team win, and so much more.

If you make it a habit to send this survey to your team at least twice per year, and then act on the information you gain from it, I guarantee you will improve your ministry in meaningful ways.

Here are the questions in the volunteer engagement survey.

  1. What is your name? (optional)
  2. Do you serve elsewhere at {{church_name}}?
  3. How long have you served in {{ministry_name}}?
  4. How often are you able to attend worship?
  5. What do you enjoy most about serving in {{ministry_name}}?
  6. What one change would you suggest to make your {{ministry_name}} experience even more enjoyable?
  7. What do we in {{ministry_name}} do really well?
  8. What one change would you suggest to help everyone in {{ministry_name}} do a better job?
  9. Before you serve each time, how do you feel?
  10. Each time you finish serving, how do you feel?
  11. How happy are you with your serving experience in {{ministry_name}}?
  12. How much fun do you have when serving in {{ministry_name}}?
  13. When serving, do you feel like you are directly contributing to the mission of Jesus at {{church_name}}?
  14. Do you feel like you have the information you need for your role each time you serve?
  15. Do you feel connected with and supported by your ministry team leader?
  16. Do you feel like your individual contributions are valued by other team members?
  17. Do you feel like you’re “in-the-know” about what’s going on in {{ministry_name}}?
  18. Have you encouraged or recruited anyone to serve in {{ministry_name}} in the last year?
  19. How many times in the last 3 months have you served in {{ministry_name}}?
  20. Your responses will be sent directly to {{leader_name}} at {{leader_email}}. Are you okay with that?

Yes, it’s a pretty long survey, but you’re only sending it 2-4 times per year. It should take about 5-10 minutes to complete with this online form:

Most of the questions are multiple choice and you can share it with your team via email from your church database software.

I wholeheartedly believe in the power and usefulness of surveying your team on a regular basis. It’s changed my ministry significantly and given me actionable information to help me improve my own performance as a leader.

One More Thing…

In fact, we at TrainedUp believe SO DEEPLY in making ministry decisions based on real data that we are building a whole new tool aimed at that very thing. Except, this time, it’s going to change the way you make disciples.

It’s called Disciple Labs and you can learn about it on the pre-launch website.

Here’s the gist: it’s a tool that automates spiritual health surveys for your whole church or ministry department, aggregates the data into helpful charts, and gives you insight into how you can help your people grow as disciples. It’s the first of its kind and we’re incredibly excited about how it will help ministry leaders make better disciples.

Scott Magdalein

Scott is the founder of ServeHQ and has over a decade of experience as an Executive Pastor, Worship Pastor, and College Pastor. You can chat with him directly using the widget at the bottom of this page.

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