|Courtesy of andjohan/Creative Commons License|
Whether you need one or one hundred, you always need leaders. It can be a source of tension and stress, but once you have them your:
- Capacity To Do More Increases
- Ratios Improve
- Burdens Are Shared
The biggest recruiting season is typically in the summer, because you have time to focus on recruiting and asking people. But, once that year starts your focus turns to producing curriculum, organizing programs and connecting with teens. That’s when the problem occurs. Because you’ve been focused on growing your program, your program begins to grow. Teens invite their friends to small group and your small group is all of a sudden a mini youth ministry. At first you might deny the problem and tell yourself, “A small group of 10 is okay.” and then it becomes, “A small group of 12 is tight, but still okay.” But, the group keeps on growing and what becomes OKAY is now a GREAT PROBLEM that stresses you out. You need more leaders and quick. What do you do? You:
- Shouldn’t Panic: Your first thought will be to email people begging and pleading for their assistance. While you might get a few willing individuals the goal is not just to plug holes but have them become a part of their team. Before you reach out, take a deep breath, and ask God for guidance. Then when you communicate with others the problem make sure you aren’t guilting them or elaborating on the issue. Keep with the vision and facts. In the end you want them for the long haul.
- Send An Email Blast To Parents – It’s old school; however, it’s still the best way to get the message out as quickly as possible. While parents are only a segment of the population you should be recruiting, it’s the easiest to contact first. They might have been looking for the opportunity to get involved; however, needed someone to ask. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
- Ask For Recommendations – Your best recruits are the people around you. Not only do they understand the commitment but they are passionate about the ministry. Even if they only know one person, it’s one more than you had before. Ask them to think of a friend, family member or coworker that would be great for ministry.
- Recruit At The Door – On Sunday stand at the door and greet people. As each person passes by you might see someone you recognize who would be perfect for ministry. One of the best things you can do on Sunday surrounding Mass and adult worship is by networking and meeting other people. As you build relationships you create opportunities to recruit potential leaders.
- Be Persistent – At first you will get a lot of “NO’S” but don’t lose hope. While you don’t want to annoy someone out of serving, be sure that you are communicating clearly why you need them and why they would be good at ministering to teens. Encourage them to think, pray and talk it over with someone before give you an answer. You might find that they come back with a “Not now but ask me in a month.” and what you’ve accomplished is a volunteer for the future.
Now you could just wait until summer and hope the problem will go away. If you take this approach it kind of will, but not in a healthy way. When the ratios aren’t healthy teens feel disconnected and who wants to be in a place where they don’t feel connected? Building our ratios is one of the most important responsibilities we have in youth ministry. Even before you are in a time of need make sure you are putting yourself in situations where you can ask, recruit and network.
How do you recruit people quickly?