How To Get Volunteers In A Dying Parish

4 Steps to Take to Be Successful

A fellow youth worker once said to me, “Chris, it’s easy to get volunteers when your church is thriving but how can you do that when it’s dying?”

Finding volunteers in a dying or thriving parish is challenging; however, not impossible.  The only way it could be possible is if literally every Sunday not a single person walks into your church building.  To recruit volunteers in a dying parish is possible, you just need to:


To double your capacity you just need to find one other person.  The reason recruiting volunteers seems so daunting is because we are constantly looking for 100’s.  Just be on the search for one person.

To find them start asking God to bring them your way and then make yourself present wherever people are present.  Talk to them, get to know them and then invite them to learn more about ministry.


Proverbs 29:18 says Without a vision the people lose restraint”.  Your ministry needs a vision because people want to be a part of something special.  A vision tells people where you are going and why it matters.

To develop a vision spend time with God, look at who you are trying to serve and discern the need your ministry can fill.  When the vision is clear people will jump on board with you.


There is a tendency to ask young adults because they have high energy.  But, one of the best places to find solid and committed volunteers is with your older congregation.  They just need to be convinced that they are qualified.

To win them over you need to point to their strengths.  The older generation is qualified because they know what it’s like to raise kids.  They have years of experience and know what seeds need to be sown.


Your ability to connect with other people is limited.  You need to share the burden by asking the people for referrals.  You might want to start with staff members, and people volunteering in other capacities.

Encourage others to be on the look out for men and women who have something to offer the next generation.  It doesn’t have to be a long list, remember you just need to start with one.

A dying parish will still have people in it that you can recruit you just need to ask.  Do not give up, even when you hear a “no” or “not right now“.  Trust that God will bring you the people you need because he wants you to succeed.

Question: What’s your strategy for recruiting the right volunteers?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.


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

  • Nancy Radday

    Personal invitation is the best, but don’t give up when you get a “no”‘