SWOT: Assess your volunteer process

The term SWOT may not be a part of your everyday vocabulary. But once you learn what it is, you may want to make a SWOT analysis an exercise you refer to time and time again whenever you evaluate how things are going. Basically, SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Before you begin any SWOT analysis, you’ll want to define your goal(s) and keep them in mind. Download the SWOT template to make a SWOT analysis of your volunteer process.


Begin by defining your goal(s): What are you hoping to learn and achieve? How will it help your volunteer planning?

List your strengths

Strengths are characteristics beneficial to your church/ministry. They’re your “pros” on a pros/cons list. Examples: experienced leaders, active parents, a strong ministry budget

List weaknesses

Think about pain points you/your leaders/the people in your church experience related to volunteering — the “cons” in your imaginary pros/cons list. These are weaknesses, which need to be identified and tackled. Examples: lack of a clear mission, inconsistent volunteer leaders, lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities, not enough communication.

Identify opportunities

Opportunities are factors outside your ministry you can leverage and use to your advantage. If your church has an active social media presence, that may be an opportunity to build interest in volunteering in children’s ministry. If attendance has increased at your church, more people = more potential volunteer leaders.

Become aware of threats

“Threats” sounds a little intense for children’s ministry, right? But in this context, threats are simply elements that may hinder the operation of your volunteer systems — major problems that don’t lie within your ministry, but may affect it negatively nonetheless. Examples: negative attitudes around serving, a small budget for supporting volunteers, a community where people frequently move in and out.