By Mark Satterfield
Churches often ask the question, “How can we get more volunteers?” It’s an issue at my church as well.
As church leaders, we’re called to equip “the saints for the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:12). In reality, we can’t do it all ourselves. We must equip our leaders and volunteers to carry out ministry tasks and responsibilities, including recruiting more volunteers.
Here are four practical ways to think through volunteer recruitment at your church.
1. Personal invitations
Our default in the church is often to make a stage announcement or sent a mass communication about our need for volunteers. But you’ve probably heard the phrase, “When you ask everyone, you ask no one.”
Personal invitations are always going to work better than asking everyone to serve as a volunteer. Extending a personal invitation requires you to know the individual, their character, and how God has gifted them. When you know someone well enough, you can move forward with a personal invitation to serve. The power of a personal invitation is huge.
2. Give clear next steps.
We often know what we need, but we also often lack clear and easy steps for our church members to get involved. Providing a description about the volunteer role and responsibilities helps someone know what to expect if they commit to serve. If they are interested, connect them with another ministry leader or volunteer to discuss further.
3. Volunteers recruit volunteers.
Volunteers are the best recruiters. They are passionate and engaged in the ministry where they serve. Their experiences will compel others to serve as well.
4. Test drive before you commit.
Allow a potential volunteer to test drive the role before they commit. Relieve the pressure to commit for the long haul by giving them an opportunity to experience the role first. I can’t tell you how many times at our church that a potential volunteer anticipated they’d love a ministry role only to discover it wasn’t quite the right fit during a test drive. This allowed us the opportunity to discuss and find a better fit before they committed to serving.