Is Your System For Recruiting Volunteers Effective?

The Right and Wrong Way To Asking People To Serve


Let’s face it, we could all use more volunteers.  Doesn’t matter how many you have the demand to do more and expand your capacity is always there.  The question is, “Is your system for recruiting effective?”

There is not one way of recruiting volunteers, but some are more effective than others.  When it comes to recruiting volunteers you want to avoid:

BEGGING:  Avoid the desperation.  People will either avoid it or say, “Yes” out of guilt.

ULTIMATUMS: The tendency is to make these with parents.  We’ll say, “We need you to serve or we’ll have to cancel.”  While that might be true, it doesn’t give you a good reputation.  No one wants to feel like they have to do something.

JUST PRAYING ABOUT IT: I know that sounds weird, but after a while, God’s going to be like, “I’m giving you plenty of opportunities, now you just need to take advantage of them!”  Rarely does someone just walk in and say, “Sign me up!”

RELYING ON EMAIL: People are emailed too much already.  You might get one or two people, but really you are just adding to the noise.

Those are a few of the methods you want to avoid.  Instead, consider a plan where you bring people along and build relationships so that you can make a more attractive invitation.  To create that plan make sure you:


The anxiety that comes with recruiting is usually due to unclear goals.  If you know approximately how many people you need and where you need them to serve it’ll be easier to place the right people into the right roles.

As you learn more about a potential volunteer you’ll be able to share with them the best place for their gifts and talents.  If they are clear on where the need is they’ll be more confident in saying, “Yes” to your invitation.



Some people will accept your invitation to serve right away, but others will have questions.  They’ll want to know:

  • What’s involved with their commitment.
  • Who they will be serving with.
  • How it is going to feel being involved with teenagers.

You can create an informational meeting where they can:

  • Hear your vision.
  • Listen to the stories of current volunteers.
  • Talk with other potential ministers.

Or you can invite them to shadow at your program and get a better sense of the energy and excitement.  Give them a clear picture and answer as many questions as possible before they commit.


It’s hard being the new guy and you can diffuse that awkwardness by making sure your current volunteers are welcoming.  Make sure you plan opportunities for new volunteers to get to know some of the veterans.

Remind your current team to be inviting towards someone who is new.  Constantly remind them the importance of being a team that loves one another and serves each other.

As you put together a plan for recruiting volunteers you’ll build the reputation of someone who cares about their volunteers.  People will know when they serve for you that they’ll be given clear direction and a part of a loving community.

Question:  What does your plan for inviting people into ministry look like?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.