Recruit. Enlist. Mobilize. Enroll. Sign up. Engage. These are all words that come to mind when more volunteers are needed in ministry. Let’s be honest, even words like snag, muster and coerce can make their way into the conversation in desperate times! No matter the size of the ministry, from a coffee-shop church plant to a multi-campus mega-church, there always seems to be more opportunities to serve than servers! Over many years of interacting with churches around the country, I can only recall one church that had a waiting list of volunteers. What a dream world that must be! In the world of most leaders, though, opportunities abound and we can help others find their place if we are intentional.
While we know that one-on-one invitations to join a serving team is the most effective way to recruit volunteers, making it easy for someone who is interested in serving to find those opportunities is a wise strategy, as well. There can be a fine line between sharing opportunities and sounding the alarm that the Titanic is about to sink! Having pleas from the platform each week about another ministry in need of staffing gives the impression that said ministry may be on its last leg, and no one wants to join that team! On the other hand, if there isn’t a way to find out what serving opportunities are available, people will never realize they are missing a chance to serve.
Here are three ways to make volunteering easy:
1. Use Visual Boards
Designate a day or even two during the year, that serving opportunities are displayed, front and center in your foyer, entrance way or lobby, to give your entire church body an easy way of seeing a clear visual of the options they would have to serve. This might be a wall of cards, colorful shapes, or other graphics with each opportunity or “job description” listed. These can be grouped by age, by ministry area or by level of service. There is nothing as powerful as a visual representation of each position to help individuals see the level of commitment a church needs to minister well to its congregation. For other Sundays, those serving on the greeting team, at the information desk or with first impressions team should know where to direct inquires about joining a team.
2. Post Options Online
A church website is an easy place to find serving options by adding a link to a list of opportunities and the contact information to pursue more details. The more specifics you can provide at this link, the better the recruiting results. This is the perfect place to list those “dream” ministries and specific talents needed to take ministry to a new level. Musicians for a children’s worship band, set designers and social media coordinators are examples of opportunities that may appeal to those with specific talents in those fields. This makes it easy for them to find their perfect place to serve doing something that they love!
3. Share Via Social Media
Facebook, Instagram and any other social media that is used by your attendees, are fun places to highlight serving opportunities. By first making a habit of spotlighting those volunteers already serving, you allow others see the difference serving makes and how much fun it can be. When there is an opening in those areas, sharing that opportunity via social media engages those already familiar with your ministry.
As leaders we know of opportunities for others to step into the plan God has for their lives to serve. Let’s do our best to make it easy for them to find those opportunities and flourish in them!