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

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

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.

3 Keys to Maintaining Unity on Your Team

For a team or organization to achieve their vision and mission, they must have unity on their team. The art of doing team well, involves individuals coming together and working together as one unit, rather than as individuals. Healthy teams require individuals to give and take while maintaining individual opinions and values.

To create unity, we as individuals must do our best to understand the personality, strengths, giftings, and motivations of others. Often conflict arises when others do or say things differently than we would. One of the first steps to getting along with others is to seek to understand their perspective and point of view.

“If I were to summarize in one sentence the single most important principle I have learned in the field of interpersonal relations, it would be this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Dr. Stephen R. Covey

3 Keys to Maintaining Unity on Your Team by Seeking to Understand One Another

Have each member of the team complete a Spiritual Gifts Test.
Once each member has completed the Spiritual Gifts Test, spend a subsequent meeting going over the results focussing on the following questions:

  • How might your top 3-4 giftings work well on this team?
  • How might your top 3-4 gifts be misunderstood by others on this team?
  • If your top gifts become unbalanced, how might each contribute to disunity?
  • What would you like others to know about how you perceive your top 3-4 giftings?

Have a discussion around how you could honor each team member during the upcoming year.
For some, it may be acknowledging their birthday. For others, it may be honoring a job well done. For some, it may be acknowledging a difficult anniversary of a loss etc.  Find out what is important to each team member and then plan to honor each in the way that is meaningful to them.

Have each member complete a personality inventory.
My favorite personality inventory is called “The Flag Page”. 
There is a small fee for completing The Flag Page inventory, but I have found it well worth the cost. It has been more insightful for me than any other personality inventory l have completed. The Flag Page highlights your top motivations, shows you where you will succeed and why. Instead of thinking what’s wrong with you, the Flag Page shows what’s right about you.

I encourage you to have each team member complete The Flag Page inventory and print their results. Then have a discussion where each team member gets to explain their results, name their top 5 motivations and what this information means to them personally.

Next, I encourage you to spend time with your team in prayer:

  • affirm one another in his/her top strengths and motivations
  •  ask God to strengthen each team member to know how to bring his/her strengths to the team
  • pray for each team member to encourage the unity of the team by seeking to understand one another

Maintaining unity among a team may be challenging at times, but the strength of the team far outweighs the strength of one.

Check Out Other Recent Articles Related to this Subject

Atributes of Healthy Teams

Choosing Team Members

The Importance of Working Through Team

Attributes of Healthy Teams

Ministry requires healthy teams. In my recent blog titled “The Importance of Working Through Team” I addressed several reasons why leaders should not work alone. Having previously established the importance of teams and team-work, here are some attributes of healthy teams. If your team doesn’t possess these attributes, I encourage you to seek training such as my “First Steps – Keys to Building Vibrant Ministry” workshop. 

Healthy Teams Do the Following

  1. Understand the vision and goals of the team
  • the organization or team’s mission statement and vision statement should be reviewed regularly
  • when major decisions are to be made, the team should review the mission and vision statements, and make the decision based on these guiding documents
  • team members that consistently challenge the vision and or mission statement may need to re-evaluate their involvement in the team
  1. Respect one another
  • healthy teams understand that all team members matter
  • healthy teams agree that all members bring something unique to the table
  • healthy teams treat one another with dignity and respect
  1. Communicate openly
  • healthy teams do their best to communicate in a respectful manner, even when conflicts or disagreements arise
  • healthy teams do their best to keep short accounts with other team members, and if tensions arise, do their best to keep the peace
  • healthy teams use this verse as a guiding principle If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
  • healthy teams are honest and authentic
  1. Resolve conflict
  • healthy teams do their best to resolve conflict in a timely manner understanding that sometimes people need time and space to process and calm down
  • healthy teams understand that conflict is normal and that not all members will agree on everything all the time
  • Healthy teams remember to attack the problem and not other team members
  1. Cooperate not compete
  • healthy teams work together as a team, not as individuals
  • healthy teams realize they are stronger together
  • healthy teams don’t go behind other team members backs
  • healthy teams avoid back room deals
  1. Celebrate a job well done
  • healthy teams take time after an event to celebrate what God did
  • healthy teams acknowledge hard work, and acknowledge those who put in extra time to make events and projects happen

For more information on teams please see my blogs:

 “Choosing Team Members”;  

“The Importance of Working Through Team” 


Choosing Team Members

Tips for Choosing Team Ministry Team Members

Here are some tips to remember when choosing members for a ministry team. It took me years to figure out some of these tips and some I learned the hard way.

  • Don’t choose your friends to be part of your team
    • if your friends are on your team, it will be tempting to talk about team issues when you are together socially, and you may harm your friendship if it becomes all business and no fun
    • if there is conflict on your team, you may lose your team-mate and your friendship
  • Look for team members that have different personality types and giftings (spiritual gifts)
    • team leaders need to staff to their weakness
    • ideal teams are well-balanced with team members that have varied strengths
  • Look for team members from different life-stages
    • team members from different life-stages provide varied perspectives
    • filling your team with varied life-stages will provide mentoring opportunities for team members
      • The amount of free time people have often corresponds with the life stage they are in. For example, women raising young children are likely to have less free time, than those who are retired. Take this into consideration when building your team. Some team members will have more time to give to the team and tasks than others will.
  • Look for team members with varied experience
    • team members with a lot of prior ministry experience may be tempted to rely on past experiences instead of the viewing current issues objectively
    • having a team of all inexperienced members may be a problem if the leader of the team is also inexperienced
    •  building a team with members who have varied life experience will provide greater opportunity for relatability with those you will serve
  • Look for introverts and extroverts for your team
    • both introverts and extroverts are an asset to your team
    • introverts are often great for facilitators, or for working behind the scenes
    • extroverts are often great Emcees, greeters, hostesses

Other Questions to Consider When Choosing Ministry Team Members

  • Is the individual committed to growing in her walk with Christ?
  • Does she have a passion for women’s ministry?
  • Is she available to take on more commitment or is she already over committed?
  • Does she have a skill set needed on the team?
  • Is she a person who sucks the life out of you and others?
  • Can she hold confidences or is she a gossip?
  • Does she speak favorably about your church leadership?
  • Does she speak respectfully of her family?

See also “The Importance of Working Through Team” 

The Importance of Working Through Team

Jesus worked through team. He gathered 12 men and discipled them through His teaching and example, how they should live, and how they should minister. These 12 men were far from perfect, but they answered God’s call and He used them in mighty ways. If Jesus worked through team, and He was the perfect Son of God (who didn’t need people), how much more should we work through team?

There are several reasons leaders may be tempted to do everything themselves. The following is a list of lies leaders may believe, followed by the truth that disproves the lies.

The Lie: No one really wants to help so I should do it all myself.

The Truth: People are often waiting for a personal invitation by the leader before they are willing to get involved. Secondly any leader trying to do everything themselves is going to burn out quickly.


The Lie: I can do the job better myself.

The Truth: No one person is good at everything.  Rather than working alone, we should gather a team made up of individuals with a variety of strengths and giftings. A wise leader builds a team with individuals that have strengths in areas of his/her weakness.


The Lie: I should keep saying yes.

The Truth: Sometimes our yes allows another to sin by saying no. As leaders, if we are doing more than our share of the work, we may be allowing others to be negligent. We may be robbing another of his/her blessing because we’ve stepped up to do a job they should have done.


The Lie: Asking for help is a weakness.

The Truth: Asking for help can be a strength. It takes courage and humility to admit we need help, and these are godly characteristics that every leader should possess.


The Lie: If I let others know my weaknesses they won’t respect me.

The Truth: Authentic leaders who admit their weaknesses and vulnerabilities tend to attract, not repel people. Many people would rather follow an authentic leader, than someone who is pretending to have it all together.


The Lie: I must keep leading even though I know my time is done because no one is stepping up to take my place.

The Truth: When God asks you to step down from leading, listen. If you try to keep leading after your expiry date, you will likely do more damage than good.


The Lie: I’m not good enough to lead.

The Truth: God loves to equip the called. Most of the biblical characters God used were misfits or ordinary people. This should give us hope that God can use us, despite our weaknesses!

Also see Seventh Roadblock to Effective Women’s Ministry – Trying to Lead Alone

Why Churches Need Women’s Ministry

God created humans with an innate need for community. Churches can meet this need for women, through offering women’s ministry. Therefore, women’s ministry is vital to the local church!

Here are just a few reasons why I believe women’s ministry is vital
• women are hungry for true, meaningful connection in today’s culture where social media leaves women wanting
• women are strong influences in raising children, in their marriages, in the community, in the marketplace, in their churches and in the world, and therefore, women need good theology
• women need other women to do life with, throughout all stages of life
• more than half the church is women, and the majority of church volunteers are women, so women need to have a good understanding of God’s word
• women have the influence to make or break a church.
“A healthy women’s ministry in the local church is a key part of vibrant church life. For many reasons, when Women’s ministry is going well, it is a significant influence to the health of the entire church.” ~ Gerry Teichrob, Director of Pathways Forward Transitional Ministry

If my reasons for women’s ministry don’t convince you, perhaps these will

Women’s ministry deepens theology, cultivates inter-generational friendships, grows ministry
Daniel Montgomery lead pastor of Sojourn Church in an article called “Does Your Church Need a Women’s Ministry?” describes some of the reasons his church offers formal women’s ministry. “We want to intentionally meet women who want deeper theological reflection where they are. It won’t just happen. Women’s ministry also allows us to directly address the challenges of cultivating friendships across generations—whether someone is mentoring or being poured into. In addition, if you look at any renewal movement in history, women were at the helm. We want to empower and free women to do that kind of ministry.”

Women’s ministry models biblical community
“Some say women are more effective ministering to women because they are natural nurturers. Others say it’s because they tend to be more relational. The Bible does not attribute the results to nurturing or to relationship skills but simply evidences the structure of a biblical community. God designed women to help each other.” Taken from Why Women Need Each Other

Women’s ministry helps women to come to Christ and grow in Christ
“Like most forms of ministry, women’s ministry is Jesus-centred. It’s all about helping other women to come to Christ and grow in Christ. It’s about encouraging people to understand the gospel, respond to the gospel and apply the gospel to every aspect of life. And that happens when women engage with God through his Word and prayer, in the community of the local church.” taken from What is women’s ministry/ Helen Thorne – Director of Training and Mentoring – London City Mission

Because the bible instructs older women to train younger women
“These older ladies were to be ‘teachers of what is good’. This is not literal teaching as we understand it today, but more of an encouragement and a ‘fanning of the flame’; the picture is of one gently blowing a fire to encourage it to burn. It is mentoring in its purest form. This ‘teaching’ is not primarily academic, possibly not even doctrinal, though it must always be doctrinally correct. The emphasis is on encouragement, the idea of, ‘Yes, you are doing well in mothering your children. Keep up the good work.’ Because young women need encouragement. Because young women need to see a godly life in the flesh.” Nell Sunukjian from Why Every Church Will Always Need a WM Part 1

If your church does not currently have women’s ministry, may I encourage you to start women’s ministry this year? Please check out my “First Steps – Building Vibrant Ministry” workshop designed to help churches build or rebuild women’s ministry.

Also see “Why Women’s Ministry Matters”

How to Write a Vision Statement

My blog called “Vision vs. Mission and Why it Matters to You as a Leader or Individual” addresses the difference between a vision and mission statement. For those of you who missed it, here’s a recap.

In simple terms, a vision statement is where you want to go in the future and should stretch your organization or ministry beyond what it is currently.

A mission statement is a description of what the organization does, and the reason for its existence.

Simply put,a vision statement is the where you want to go, and a mission statement is how you are going to get there.

The bible talks about importance of vision in Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Aren’t you glad we have God’s word, the bible, to show us God’s mission and vision for us as Christ followers. The bible teaches us how to live (mission), and where we are going if we have accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour (vision).

While both vision and mission statements must include space for the Holy Spirit to work, ministries and churches must have a clear understanding of why they exist, the importance of where they exist, what they are called to do, and how they will carry out this calling.

How to Write a Vision Statement for Your Ministry

Vision starts with team

Gather a ministry team. Ministry is not a one person show. Ministry requires a team, and a variety of spiritual gifts, for effective ministry to be built. Build the team with individuals who have a heart for the people group this team will serve.

Vision starts through prayer

We cannot begin to know the true needs of people. We may think we know, but we must rely on the power, insight and strength of the Holy Spirit, as only He truly knows the hearts of people.

  • Cover congregants in prayer, by name if possible
  • Pray for God to prepare you for the role you may play on the team
  • Pray for the humility required to lead well
  • Pray for wisdom for next steps
  • Pray for the church leadership team
  • Pray for current teams to be open to new ideas and vision\

Vision starts by working under the church’s vision statement

  • All church ministries must work under the church’s vision statement
  • All church ministries must align with the church’s vision statement
  • Ensure that your church’s vision statement is visible, as your team works on its individual vision statement

Vision starts with a brainstorm

  • With the church’s vision statement is in front of you, brainstorm keywords that describe where the team would like to see this ministry go, and how it will get there
  • Brainstorm projected outcomes the team would like to see in the lives of those who will benefit from this ministry
  • Think about discipleship, and what it means to be a disciple of Christ, and how this ministry may help facilitate this discipleship process

Vision starts with prioritizing key words

  • Make a column for vision statement keywords, and another for mission statement keywords
  • Place keywords under the appropriate column
    • do these describe where the ministry is going (vision)?
    • do these describe how the ministry will get there (mission)?
  • Once columns are completed, begin to form phrases that encapsulate these key thoughts

Vision starts by wordsmithing key phrases into a concise sentence

Note: The team and congregants should be able to memorize your vision statement.

Here are a few examples of concise vision statements
“To make and deploy mature and equipped followers of Christ for the sake of Family, Community and Global transformation.” Perimeter Church (Johns Creek, GA):

“To create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.” Glide (San Francisco, CA):

It may take several team meetings to get the vision and mission statements right. Take the time to get the statements as clear as possible.

Finally, take the vision statement and mission statement to the Pastor or Elder Team (dependent on your church structure) for their approval before the statements are taken public.

Remember that following church leadership covering, is so important. All ministries of the church are to work together as one body. For this to happen, there must be good communication and accountability.

I can Help! My First Steps – Building Vibrant Ministry Workshop addresses how to build a ministry, how to build a team, dealing with conflict and event planning from projected outcomes. For more information on this and other topics I offer please go to www.

Also see “Vision vs. Mission and Why it Matters to You as a Leader or an Individual”

Vision vs. Mission and Why it Matters to You as a Leader or an Individual

What’s the Difference Between a Vision Statement and a Mission Statement?

In simple terms, a vision statement is where you want to go in the future. It should stretch your organization or ministry beyond what it is today.

A mission statement is a description of what the organization does, and the reason for its existence.

Here are 2 Mission Statements of Well-Known Companies (the “why” this company exists)

“To give ordinary folk the chance to buy the same thing as rich people.” (Wal-Mart Mission Statement)

“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” ( Mission Statement)

If a Church is Not a Business, Why Does it Need Vision and Mission Statements?

The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” 

While both vision and mission statements must include space for the Holy Spirit to work, ministries and churches must have a clear understanding of why they exist, the importance of where they exist, what they are called to do, and how they will carry out this calling.

Churches who don’t have a clear vision and mission are prone to:

  • making bad decisions
  • hiring staff who aren’t a good fit
  • dealing with the same issues year after year with no productive change
  • losing congregants who are frustrated by the lack of vision and direction
  • low giving because people don’t trust money is being used wisely

I wonder how many people leave churches due to problems that could be avoided if the vision and mission are being upheld.

Why Should Mission and Vision Matter to Church Individuals?

  • Because individuals make up the church, and are called to live out the great commission, and to be the hands and feet of Christ, within their churches and communities
  • Because each individual of the church is called to use his/her spiritual gifts to serve the church, and to fulfill his/her calling to Christ
  • Because members of the church are to be watchdogs, to hold leaders accountable, for decisions made within the church. Congregants must be aware of the mission and vision of the church, and to question leaders, if they seem to be going off track, in upholding the church mission and vision.

Why Should Mission and Vision Matter to Church Leaders?

  • Because leaders are responsible to teach, and equip the congregation, to carry out the mission and vision, and the great commission
  • Because all ministries within the church, should line up with the mission and vision of the church
  • Because leaders are called to protect the unity of the church. Divisions arise when the vision and mission is not upheld, or is interpreted differently than intended.

Make it Personal

  • Know your church’s vision and mission statements
  • Evaluate yourself on how you are doing your part, to live out the mission statement
  • If you are not living the mission statement, step up your game, get involved, be a proactive member of your church
  • Know your spiritual gifts, and use them within your church, to help carry out the mission

I can Help!

My Gifted for Purpose Workshop addresses spiritual gifts, calling, and how God can use us as individuals, to make a difference for Him, in our churches, communities, and the world. Contact me to find out more information about booking a Gifted for Purpose Workshop for your church.

Also see “How to Write a Vision Statement”

Seventh Roadblock to Effective Women’s Ministry – Trying to Lead Alone


Good leaders should always be working themselves out of a job. How do they do this? Bring other leaders alongside and train them in what you do and how to do it.

Lies Women Leaders Often Believe:

1. No one really wants to help so I should do it all myself.

Any leader taking on too much will either burn out, or come to resent the people she serves. Invite others to serve and share the load.

2. I can do the job better myself.

Leaders are often very capable in many areas. However, no one person is good at everything. Delegate to your weak areas to others good in that area and watch them shine.

3. I should keep saying yes.

The truth is when we step in to do something we shouldn’t, we may be enabling someone else to say no, who should be saying yes. Sometimes we fill holes that should remain undone, until someone else decides to step up. Leaders doing too much are setting ministry up to fail, if they need to step down.

4. Asking for help is a weakness.

I have come to believe that it takes strength and courage to ask for help. We may be robbing someone of a blessing, if we don’t allow them to help us.

5. If I let others know my weaknesses they won’t respect me.

My favorite leaders are those who are authentic not perfect. Perfect people often repel others because no one feels they can measure up to a perfect person. Leaders who are real and admit their weaknesses, and vulnerabilities, tend to attract not repel people.

6. I have to keep leading even though I know my time is done.

When God asks you to step down from leading listen. If you try to keep leading after your expiry date, you will likely do more damage than good.

7. I’m not good enough to lead.

God loves to equip the called. Most of the biblical characters God used in the bible were misfits or ordinary people. This should give us hope that God can use us despite our weaknesses.

See also “The Importance of Leading Through Team”

Sixth Roadblock to Effective Women’s Ministry – Lack of Vision

“Vision without execution is hallucination” – Thomas Edison

“To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.”

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 29:18

If you have been in a situation at work, church, in a relationship, or even on a road trip, where there was no vision of where you were going, or a plan to get there, you have probably been incredibly frustrated.

In Women’s Ministry we need a plan. Plans should include:

1. Overall ministry plan for the ministry year.

Ministry years often run September through May or September through June. Write out a plan of events for the whole ministry year the quarter or semester before it starts. For example September through December plans should be made during the previous spring.

2. A Projected Budget

What do you project the budget will be for each event or activity. Account for income and expenses. Track all expenses for the year on a spreadsheet and then you will have an idea of how to budget for the following year.

3. Projected outcomes.

Plan events from the outcome you’d like to see in women’s lives and plan backwards. What changes or growth would you like to see in a woman’s life after participating in you women’s ministry for the coming year. How will you track these changes? What kind of activities, events, discipling, teaching will need to take place in order for the outcomes of personal and spiritual growth to be achieved. While it is God who brings the heart change in women we can help set the stage for growth to happen. Be purposeful in ministry planning.

How to have VISION
V – visualize what’s possible – where do you want to go
I – invite unity and team
S-solicit direction – keep evaluating and asking women if you are meeting your ministry objectives and outcomes
I-infuse passion – be excited about your women’s ministry – enthusiasm draws others
O- organize your ministry – be prepared
N- nurture leaders – train, encourage, equip other leaders

Also see “How to Write a Vision Statement”