“Ambassador” is a role that has recently grown in popularity and is being applied across numerous different industries. Many companies are looking to attract ambassadors who can help represent the face and voice of their organization.
Within religious communities, houses of worship should also look to establish ambassador programs to encourage others toward faith and fellowship. It’s important to recognize the unique benefits that ambassadors can offer for your religious organization.
What is a volunteer ambassador?
A volunteer ambassador is an individual that is passionate about your house of worship and the religious message you bring to your local community. These people are positive representations of your religious organization, and live their lives in a way that aligns with your congregation’s mission. Ambassadors may handle tasks and responsibilities like planning and helping to host house of worship events, leading fundraising efforts, working to recruit new congregation members, and more.
As noted by Church Source contributor Candace Waggoner, no matter your denomination, there are certain qualities to look for in your volunteer ambassadors, including:
- Readiness and willing to help: The best ambassadors are those that don’t shy away from opportunities to support the ministry or house of worship, particularly within initiatives that might include work that is intensive or challenging.
- Tactical and motivated: In addition to being passionate and driven in their work, volunteer ambassadors must also leverage critical thinking to help overcome any problems that emerge.
- Honest, humble and fair: Volunteer ambassadors could be charged with sensitive tasks, and will look to complete these in a modest way that doesn’t call unnecessary attention to the organization or its mission. Ambassadors are also conscious of the impact of their actions, as well as how they utilize organizational resources.
- Reliable and self-starting: Your ambassadors should also have leadership skills, and be capable of spearheading and supporting a project even when congregation heads are absent.
Overall, volunteer ambassadors enable house of worship leaders to expand the reach of their organization, and support projects and initiatives within their own congregation and the local community.
You may already have volunteer ambassadors!
The good news is, whether your house of worship has an official ambassador program or not, chances are good that your congregation includes a few individuals with characteristics that match up to those described above. Are there a handful – or more – of members that are always excited about helping out and contributing to house of worship opportunities? Can you think of a few parishioners that consistently attend church activities and/or community outreach events?
These individuals are prime candidates for a volunteer ambassador initiative.
Supporting your volunteer ambassadors
If your organization has yet to put an expressed ambassador program in place – or even if you already have an ambassador initiative established – there are a few key ways that you can look to support these individuals and ensure that they have all the tools they need to enable your house of worship’s beliefs and mission:
- Reach out to prime volunteer ambassador candidates: Remember those dedicated and motivated individuals we discussed above? If your house of worship doesn’t have an official ambassador program in place just yet, your first step in creating one is reaching out to your congregation members that display certain beneficial characteristics. Discuss with them the purpose of a volunteer ambassador program, and consider having them fill out an application to join the program. You can use this volunteer application template from CM Select as a good start.
- Offer a sense of responsibility: Being a volunteer ambassador is about more than just showing up to events and being willing to pitch in. As the congregation leader, it is your job to make sure that your volunteer ambassadors are empowered, and have actionable tasks that they can complete which provide a sense of responsibility and help ambassadors understand that their efforts and contribution is valuable. These tasks can include things like event planning, fundraising, recruiting or spearheading community service efforts.
- Enable ambassadors to take the lead: It’s also important that congregation leaders trust their ambassadors and can delegate critical tasks and projects to them. As a representative of the house of worship, ambassadors should be able to step in and lead, even when other church leaders are busy or not present.
- Value their input: Your volunteer ambassadors might have a different perspective of your house of worship and the initiatives and outreach work you do. In this way, your ambassadors can be a good place to turn when congregation leaders need advice or guidance.
- Support peace of mind: Finally, it’s imperative that the individuals that do so much to support your religious organization and its mission are protected. You and your ambassadors work to create a welcoming environment for your congregation; protect this congregation by ensuring that your house of worship has the right coverage to guard against any claims.
To find out more about supporting your house of worship and those that are the most passionate and dedicated to your mission, connect with one of our experts at CM Select today.
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