Recruiting Leaders or Volunteers – What to Do & What Not to Do

Every ministry needs volunteers. Recruiting volunteers can seem like a daunting process especially if your usual methods are leaving you short handed. So how can you be successful in recruiting volunteers?

What Not to Do When Recruiting Leaders or Volunteers

1.  Don’t ask only once if you get a ‘no”

  • if you think the person would make a great fit, ask again in the future
  • I once asked one lady for three consecutive years before she finally said yes. She ended up being one of my best leaders

2.  Don’t have unclear or unrealistic expectations

  • People are likely to say no to leader or volunteer if they don’t know what is involved

3.  Don’t recruit someone for a position they aren’t suited for

4.  Don’t recruit people already overly committed to serving 

  • 20% of people in the church do 80% of the work – try to get people involved that aren’t committed already

What to Do When Recruiting Leaders or Volunteers

1. Look for individuals who

  • are committed to growing in their walk with Christ
  • have a passion for ministry
  • are available not overcommitted (80/20 principle)
  • have a skill set needed on the team
  • are givers not takers
  • can hold confidences
  • speak favourably about the church and church leadership
  • speak respectfully about their family

2.  Use pastoral staff as a resource

  • Ask pastoral staff to give you a list of names of people they would like to see involved that they think would be a good fit

3.  Develop a list of potential volunteers or leaders

a.  Start with who names of people you think could be a good fit

  • Maybe they said no in the past, but they are in a new season and may consider serving now
  • Ask those on your list to recommend 1 or 2 other people they think could be a fit

b.  Ask current leaders for names of people they think may be a fit

  • It is likely that your leaders know other like-minded people

4.  Use your church bulletin as a last resort if your list comes up empty.

  • Individuals lacking maturity or skills may apply, and you will need to have a difficult conversation with them about why they don’t fit

After Developing a List of Who to Ask to Lead/Volunteer 

1.  Make a well-defined job description to present during your “ask”

The job description should include:

  • The ministry vision statement or purpose
  • Time commitment required
  • Ministry schedule- how many times per week or per month will you need their service

2.  If a pastor or leader made a recommendation, ask him/her to talk to the recommended individual to see if they are interested in pursuing the opportunity you

3.  Think about what you could say to the recommended individuals to affirm them
      This could include:
– potential you see in them to lead
– how you have observed their faithfulness to the church, family, or ministry in the past
– how they have impacted your life or the life of another for God’s kingdom

Women feel insecure and often downplay their leadership potential. Be a leader that speaks life to others and provides an opportunity for them to lead.

4.  Book a coffee date with the people on your list
At this meeting ask individuals
– How has Jesus impacted their life
– How long they have attended the church
– Why are they interested in volunteering for this ministry

When you find leaders ensure you do your part to encourage, lead and support them.

For More on Recruiting Volunteers See:

Recruiting Volunteers Webinar

Fourth Ministry Roadblock – Lack of Volunteers

5 Keys to Planning Great Events

When investing your time into planning events, you want a worthwhile outcome. Here are five keys to planning great events.

Start by listing desired outcomes you’d like to see from the event

In other words, what do you hope will result from the event? What is the event purpose?

Desired outcomes may include:

  • raising funds for a ministry or cause
  • outreach to the community
  • a chance to build community
  • an opportunity for women to learn a skill
  • an invitation for women to grow in their faith

After you have determined the desired outcomes, work backwards. Plan an event that will help achieve your desired outcome.

For example, if your desired outcome is to build community, plan your event having women seated around tables and provide table talk questions around each table with probing questions. Appoint a hostess for each table, to help guide the conversation, help women feel welcome and to facilitate the table talk questions. Instruct the hostesses to ensure that all women get a chance to answer the questions if they are comfortable to do so. Serve the food buffet style, so women have to get up from their tables and mingle. Include an icebreaker that involves all women.

Right people in the right roles

Great events have extroverts and introverts in the right roles.

Extroverts often make great Emcees, table hostesses or greeters.

Introverts often make great registration hosts, enjoy serving refreshments, and working behind the scenes.

Having people in the right roles can ensure that your leaders and participants are comfortable and are set up to use their strengths.

Energetic/enthusiastic team

Great events need enthusiasm. When the planning team is enthusiastic about the event, others will want to join in. A team who complains about the upcoming event will deter people from wanting to attend. Your team should be excited about the event and should be your best promoters.

Age groups accommodated

Great events keep age groups in mind when planning. For example, if young moms are encouraged to attend, consider offering childcare, or a nursing room. If elderly women are invited to attend, ensure seating is available for them even if it is a stand-up event. If all women are welcome, ensure that the event is affordable, or that scholarships or complimentary tickets are available.

Timing right

Great events happen at the right time. Is the time of year suited to the event? Is the church calendar already busy during the time you’d like to host the event? If yes, consider holding off on the event and schedule it for a time when more people are likely to attend. Will the weather restrict women from attending the event if held during certain times of the year?

Great events happen when the planning team plans for desired outcomes, put volunteers and leaders in the right roles, accommodates ages, picks the right date and has an energetic and enthusiastic team.

I wish your team GREAT events this ministry year.

Also See:
Things to Consider When Planning Events

Roadblocks to Ministry – Getting Women To Attend Events

Check out my Resources Page for Event Ideas