4 Reasons People Aren’t Getting Involved

Most people know that the number one way to recruit ministers is by asking.  Asking isn’t easy, or at least it doesn’t appear to be easy.  Asking someone to serve in ministry can feel like we are inconveniencing their daily lives.  Asking someone to serve in ministry can be intimidating because we don’t want to hear the word, NO.
Asking a person to get involved in ministry is like asking someone out on a date, there is no magic line.  And while there is no one magic line there are a lot of other lines that will guarantee failure when it comes to recruiting.  Most times it’s not about knowing what to say, as much as it is knowing WHAT NOT TO SAY.
Here are four DONT’S when it comes to asking someone to get involved:

  1. Don’t Threaten Them With Guilt: Too many times you hear someone say to the congregations, “We need 15 teachers or there will be no Sunday School this year.” Most people don’t want to be guilted into a situation they want to be inspired.  Even if you do recruit a few chances are they are going to only perform the bare minimum and that’s because guilt is not a key to longevity. 
  2. Don’t Inundate Them With Information: Information is powerful in the sense that it can motivate but also overwhelm people.  Some of us feel the impulse to talk about every single detail pertaining to our ministry, when all that does is overwhelm them.  What you want to do is give them a clear and simple explanation.  Make it engaging and memorable.  After that let them ask questions.
  3. Don’t Go All Or Nothing: Many people ask how I get most of my ministers to serve week in and week out, the answer is that we paint a clear vision and we give them the ability to take a step back.  Someone who is uncertain about ministry could easily burnout.  What you want to do is make sure they are either shadowing someone or partnered up.  Giving someone to lean on reminds them they are not alone.  If they are still unsure give them a path where they can slowly build up their commitment, but make it a plan and schedule in check points.
  4. Don’t Leave Them Hanging: Always have a next step and always make it tangible.  We have a tendency to ask and then assume that someone is sold out for ministry.  I always give people time (tangible time frame) to think and pray about it. I follow up by having at least one of my point people contact them with further instruction.  The idea is to make the steps clear so that they don’t turn away because they didn’t know what to do next.

Asking someone to get involved in ministry is asking someone to get involved in a relationship.  You need to be delicate, inviting and clear.  You’ll also want to build a culture where your current team is constantly recruiting because they know the work just as much as you do.  Recruiting ministers is also a conversation to have with your pastor because he has authority that you don’t.  When he advocates for your ministry it’ll make a huge difference, that’s one of the reasons we have over 90 ministers.  But again there is no one magic line, in the end all you need to do is ask.

What other DONT’S are there to recruiting ministers?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Don’t judge them.

    It seems weird, but this is a don’t I struggled with for a while. I couldn’t understand how people could choose to NOT engage with our kids all the time! They’re so awesome! It’s the most vibrant ministry there is! Why would anyone want to do anything else?!

    God very gently but firmly set me straight one day. Youth ministry is my life’s call (even though it’s only been a paid position 1.5 years out of 12.5 years). This won’t be true of every volunteer – it’s wrong to judge their actions (and commitment) according to MY call. Recognising this made it easier for me to appreciate the commitment and sacrifice of other volunteers leaders. I learned to work to find niches that needed to be filled – roles for those who wanted to support the youth ministry but couldn’t be as “full time” as me.

  • Tanya,

    That’s an awesome DON’T, one I know I’ve been guilty of displaying.