During a consult last week I asked a leader in the church what’s your current biggest challenge? Their one word answer, “Volunteers”.
She didn’t mean the super abundance of them but the lack of active volunteers in church.
This is a common refrain amongst church leaders and honestly it’s a challenge that never diminishes.
Recruiting of volunteers is a year round event as well as an intentional focus at set times. The need never diminishes and is an unrelenting task for all church leaders.
And that undoubtedly adds pressure.
However, there’s also a huge payoff because there is a direct correlation between the percentage of people volunteering and the health of a church.
Now when I show pastors how to recruit volunteers in church I encourage them to have two focal points.
The Two Focal Points
When recruiting people to serve your two focal points are the needs of your departments and the wirings of your people.
The first focal point is the needs of your departments in your church. You need volunteers for office administration, youth and children’s ministry, small group leaders, ushers, money counters, welcomers, hosts for guests, hospitality and so on.
ACTION STEP audit your departments and discover where the pressure points are and let your church know the various needs within the departments. Of course it goes without saying that these pressure points should be turned into specific prayer points for your leaders and prayer network.
The second focal point is the wirings of your people. This centres not on the gifts, abilities and passions of the people in your church.
The Five Wirings
When I teach leaders how to recruit volunteers in church I ask them to consider the 5 wirings or skill sets:
These folks are passionate about music, graphic design, dance, drama, art, craft, song writing, stage design, singing and photography.
2. CONNECTION BUILDERS
These people are natural networkers who are confident with people and thrive on linking people together for a common purpose. Relationship building is their forte.
3. TASK LOVERS
These volunteers generally enjoy behind the scenes tasks, practical in nature and usually involving administrative, managerial and organisational skills.
4. TECH HEADS
These people enjoy all things technical whether it be operating computers, sound, lighting, cameras, multi-media or video editing.
5. FRIENDLY FACES
These volunteers enjoy the company of people and excel at welcoming strangers, engaging in conversations, caring for others and being helpful.
Why Give People These Two Doorways Into Volunteering?
People are motivated by self-belief in their competency.
If they think they are great at kid’s ministry they will get involved.
If they think they are an accomplished tech-head they will get involved.
Leaders must understand that if you focus solely on the church’s needs/departments and not on the motivations within people, you will miss out on recruiting some highly skilled and motivated people who cannot see where their skills fit into your departments.
Therefore when you conduct your annual recruitment drive give people an opportunity to sign up either because they want to serve in a certain department or they have a particular skill set.
Use a well-designed Opportunity to Serve form to sign people up.
And remember you can boost serving in your church with a simple four-step volunteer onboarding process.