How To Recruit Quality Volunteers

Courtesy of Cheerful Givers/Creative Commons License

In my second year of student ministry our church embarked on a huge event that required many different volunteers to step up and help us around the office.  One day I was showing one of the volunteers how to assemble some booklets for the event.  As I showed her how to put it together I sensed frustration, grumbling and sarcasm.  After a few minutes I stopped and said, “You know you don’t have to volunteer if you don’t want to.”  She apologized to me and lets just say that was the last time I asked her to help me with anything.
As a youth minister you desperately need volunteers because doing ministry on your own is impossible.  Without volunteers you won’t have anyone to lead small groups, set-up the food or chaperone the work camp you have planned in three weeks.  You need volunteers but you can’t just go out and recruit anybody.  You want a team player who will step-up when you need them to and grow with the team.  So how do you recruit quality volunteers?

  • Make Your Values Known – High quality ministry attracts high quality people.  A high quality ministry is one where people are showing up on time, prepared and enthusiastic.  Could you imagine interviewing at a place where people are complaining and disorganized? No, of course not, you want to work at a place where people are motivated and moving.  Make your values known and you will attract valuable ministers.
  • Give Them A Taste – You explain to them the whole program; however, they still aren’t sure.  Your next step is to have them give it a try.  Let them get a feel for your ministry, meet the other volunteers and teens.  On top of giving them a feel, you get the opportunity to see them in action.  If you catch any red flags it won’t be as awkward not to invite them back.  
  • Interview Them – This might take some time; however, if you want to make sure you have the right people on your team, sit down and find out.  If you are desperate it’s easy to say, “Yes.” to an adult who wants to get involved; however, you need to know if they will fit.  If you connect, then no problem, if you don’t, then move along.
  • Trust God – God wants your ministry to grow; therefore, He’ll provide you with the right people.  Trust that God will create the opportunities for you to interact with potential candidates.  Trust that He will give you the words for the best invitation.  But, don’t just expect them to appear out of thin air.  You need to pray specifically and then act on it, God will provide.

Not all your volunteers will work out.  You might feel that someone is great for the job only to find out a few months later that it’s a total flop.  You might meet someone who is perfect for your ministry; however, personal and family circumstances indicate that this isn’t the right time.  In the end trust that God wants your ministry to grow, trust that He will give you the opportunities where all you need to do is ask.

How do you recruit quality volunteers?