Are You Ignoring These Influencers in the Church?

Brands that want to reach pastors and other ministry leaders often forget about an important group of people they need to reach, too: volunteers.

Volunteers don’t usually control budgets or make important decisions about curriculum, software, or other major church functions. But they tend to develop strong relationships with the people who do.

And while they may not make decisions, volunteers are often the ones using and implementing the resources churches and ministry leaders invest in.

Here’s why you should consider reaching ministry volunteers (and how to do it).

Volunteers influence ministry leaders

Even when volunteers and staff don’t have prior relationships, ministry teams are designed to help them form meaningful bonds. They spend a lot of time together. They get to know each other. They make sacrifices together. And they grow together.

In this environment, volunteers have plenty of opportunities to talk about strategies, tools, resources, and insights that could make their ministry more effective. If those volunteers have been learning from your brand and you’ve effectively shown them how what you do supports what they do, they’ll be well positioned to introduce your brand to the people who actually buy your product or pay for your service.

To get there, though, you’ll have to start by helping volunteers grow and do better ministry.

Volunteers need ministry help, too

Ministry volunteers take on a wide range of jobs and responsibilities. They may have to develop new skills like preparing lessons, perform repetitive tasks like planning activities, and invest time in their spiritual growth. Depending on your product or service and the ministry teams that rely on you, there are likely ways that you can help make life easier for volunteers.

Supporting ministry volunteers often looks a lot like supporting ministry leaders–there’s so much overlap in what they do that serving one of these audiences benefits the other as well. Paid staff who lead volunteers look for resources that save their team time and make their ministry more effective. And when volunteers find resources that help them, they may share those resources with their leaders and fellow volunteers.

A Sunday school teacher, for example, has some of the same needs and desires as a children’s ministry director or family pastor. But they’re also going to have more classroom-specific goals, too. They may be looking for resources to help them:

  • Manage the specific types of personalities and conflicts they see in the classroom
  • Teach particular passages in ways kids can relate to
  • Relate the Bible to kids’ lives
  • Plan meaningful activities
  • Develop better relationships with their students

If you’re trying to reach children’s ministry directors or family pastors, creating resources to support their volunteer teachers can be a valuable strategy to get your brand in front of the right people.

How do you reach ministry volunteers?

While lead magnets, videos, blog posts, and other content may be relevant to both ministry leaders and their volunteers, how you frame your content and where you publish or advertise it will impact who sees it and who it most appeals to.

You probably won’t find many ministry volunteers hunting for resources that speak to pastors. If you want your content to appeal to volunteers, you need to create it for their specific role or keep it general enough that either audience can read it and feel like, “This is for me.”
You also need to distribute content through channels they use to grow and get better. Find the websites they spend time on, the magazines they read, and the influencers they follow.

Volunteers may not be the decision makers you need to reach. But strategically marketing to them can be a highly effective tactic for connecting with those decision makers.