3 Ways to Prepare for Recruiting Volunteers


From the parking lot to Sunday school, church leaders are looking for faithful volunteers to serve the congregation.  Yet many leaders are frustrated by the lack of commitment and willingness to serve.  On the other hand, volunteers have grown weary of poor communication and minimal instructions.  What should be a situation that truly benefits everyone involved can become a source of contention between staff and volunteers.

How do we solve this and start building volunteer teams who are excited about serving?  I’ve been on both sides of this equation as a volunteer and as a staff member leading volunteers.  My approach to recruiting and retaining volunteers is the result of those experiences.

Here are a few things you need to carefully consider before you launch or relaunch your volunteer program:

#1: Decide what success looks like

What does a great volunteer team look like?  Are they dependable?  Hard-workers?  Check their ego at the door?  Before you try to build a great team, you need to decide what that looks like.  As Zig Ziglar famously said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

#2: Consider what motivates people

Why should I volunteer at your church?  Will I make new friends?  Feel good about serving others?  Have fun?  Put yourself in a potential volunteer’s shoes and figure out why he should work for your church for free.  Yes, serving is part of being a follower of Christ.  However, you have people in your church who are at different levels in their spiritual maturity.  Meet them where they are and then lead them where they need to go.

#3: Determine why you should want people to serve

Why do you want volunteers?  Are you looking for people to fill a spot?  Or, do you want to connect them with each other and with their role in the Body of Christ?  Sounds simple, but your motivation comes across whether you realize it or not.

In my next post, I’ll cover how to develop systems to help you get each person from considering serving to finding the right spot on the team for them.


Want to learn more?

  The Kindle version of my book, The Volunteer Management Toolkit (Church Edition), is FREE for a limited time on Amazon.com.  Click here to download your free copy today!