As we mentioned last week, we’re going to take an in-depth, comprehensive look into Chris Mavity’s ebook ‘Your Volunteers: Recruit’ to better enable, empower and equip church leaders to better enable, empower and equip our greatest ministry asset – our people.
Volunteers are the boots-on-the-ground that make every facet of ministry possible because without them, ideas and objectives would be left to wither on the vine of imagination.
Volunteers take our loftiest hopes and aspirations and breathe into them actionable reality. They’re like the fairy godmothers of churches – BIBBIDI! BOBBIDI! BOO!
And since churches typically have more people than money, space, or staff, volunteer operations require a solid game plan to help evolve people who ‘come and see’ into people who ‘come and serve.’
So what if – much like sports organizations – we started to see the people in our church as our greatest asset, and we scoured our pews like scouts from the bleachers in search of the right people for the right positions? The returns from such efforts would exceed the investment of time and energy … exponentially.
Comprised of five fundamental skills – recruiting, training, placing, supporting, and monitoring – volunteer operations can be approached with the same intentionality as the general management of a team, strategically and thoughtfully orchestrated.
And the first step in ensuring you have a deep bench for your team is recruiting – specifically recruiting strategies, methods, selections and assignments. You have the great privilege of finding the right people to serve in the right role for the good of the Kingdom.
So, now we get to work.
The two most common recruitment tactics employed in ministry are slot filling and person selection – with each approach meeting specific needs – and with both recruiting strategies being necessary because not all volunteers are created equal. Volunteers generally fit into one of three categories:
- Hobbyist. These volunteers get the job done but aren’t interested in increasing their capacity or capability.
- Apprentice. These volunteers have certain skills or gifts and want to grow and improve.
- Craftsman. These volunteers have critical skills and think about ministry even when not engaged in ministry activity.
For roles and positions that are short term and have less influence, filling a slot works fine. But then there are ministry positions where it’s important to select the right person with a specific skill set – such as a singer or a worship leader.
And once we’ve determined the ‘who,’ we need our ‘how.’
Different people will respond to different methods. Necessary and somewhat useful, the ‘all call’ approach for volunteers works well for an event or a one-time engagement, but rarely works for specific ministry positions.
So we’ll instead focus on selecting a person as a recruiting method because the ‘all-call’ approach is typically well understood and utilized by most churches.
Select the Person: Recruit from a Position of Strength
Selecting the right people is necessary for moving your mission forward, but few leaders are sure about how to do it. Here is the four-step checklist for selecting the right volunteer:
- Know What You Need
- Know Who You Need
- Ask for Them
- Develop a Process
The Function of Specific Ministry Assignments
Next, you’ll want to clarify, refine, and simplify how you select or recruit to build your base of volunteers for specific ministry assignments.
- Clarify your ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the role so people know what to expect.
- Refine your ‘what’ to make room for growth.
- Simplify your ‘how’ so the assignments are easier to accomplish and measure.
When church leaders are intentional and thoughtful in their volunteer recruitment approaches, it elevates the importance of each and every volunteer.
Ministry isn’t just for some; it’s for us all. We’ve all been called to get involved – and ministry leaders have the added distinct privilege of choosing the right person for the right role at the right time.
And once they’ve been recruited, they’ll need to be trained in their newfound ministry role.