In the past 12 years of serving and leading in children’s ministry, the term Recruiting Volunteers seems to be an Anthem! We hear it in our staff meetings because every ministry is trying to recruit! We hear it from current volunteers who feel stretched thin or who are on the verge of burn out. We feel it when we look at our numbers and we are off ratio. We feel it every time we get the dreaded Saturday night call: “I am not going to be able to make it,” or, worse, the Sunday Morning No Shows. Clearly we have all felt the Need for More Volunteers and we can all use some help with ideas on how to recruit! While I am certainly not the only voice who has ever written about the topic here are a few things that I have learned along the way!
- Pray- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” Philippians 4:6. Make sure you are spending time in prayer about it!
- Spread the Joy: Serving is a privilege. You know that, but do your recruits? When we ask people to serve it should be with passion! How we communicate makes all the difference. Call people to be a part of something more. Recruiting is not a one person job, everyone who currently serves can always share their experiences and ask others to join.
- Clearly Define and Set Standards: What are you recruiting for? What opportunities for serving do you have in your ministry? What are your once, twice, and weekly positions?
- Get the right person for the right position: Once you have someone say yes to volunteer, what is your follow up procedure? Take time to get to really know them, draw out their God given gifts. Make sure their personality fits with the age group and serving opportunity.
- Create Community: We are made for community. Make sure you provide opportunities for your volunteer teams to connect outside of your ministry. Have a game night or ice cream party, mixed with some vision. This makes the magic come to life on a SUNDAY. Do your volunteers feel like they are a part of a team?
- Communicate: There is no such thing as over communication! Make sure to adequately and effectively train and equip your volunteers with the right tools. Stay Connected with them outside of a Sunday Morning. Make sure to leverage Twitter, Facebook, emails, and texts. And welcome feedback, that’s how you build ministry partners among your volunteers.
We would love to hear from you! What Great ideas and best practices have you found to be useful when it comes to recruiting volunteers?
- Ovations- Volunteer Appreciation DVD
- Volunteers That Stick, by Jim Wideman
- Not Normal: Seven Quirks of Incredible Volunteers, by Sue Miller and Adam Duckworth
- 365 Ideas for Recruiting, Retaining, Motivating and Rewarding Your Volunteers : A Complete Guide for Nonprofit Organizations