grow a healthy church


One Simple Way to Get Volunteers in Church

Volunteers in church

This post has one simple aim: I want to show you how to recruit volunteers in church.

I am often asked how to get volunteers in a small church. Or even in a large church.

These simple ideas work in all settings.

These ideas revolve around one central strategy: a recruitment drive.

This simple strategy is a guaranteed way to gain new volunteers in church and will help you grow a healthy church.

This element of pastoring should be one of the top priorities of every pastor, regardless of whether your church is large or small.

Your drive should be tailored to your immediate needs, however, it will serve you in boosting fresh connection to your church.

With churches looking to reboot teams and boost volunteer numbers after the Covid-19 season, you may want to take just a few elements of this full campaign and run a mini-campaign to get more volunteers in church.

A recruitment drive will serve as a time of:

  • celebrating the work of your volunteers
  • inspiring your current workers
  • giving volunteers an opportunity to try something new

Eleven Key Elements Of A Recruitment Drive

1. Conduct it over two weekends

It’s preferable to hold your drive for volunteers in church at the start of your year. However, can be run at any time.

Don’t restrict it to just one weekend as you will miss a sizeable portion of your congregation.

As people hear the preaching and the stories they will identify their gifts with those who are serving. This will inspire them to use their unique gifts and personality in serving Christ and His cause.

2. Preach on serving

Powerful preaching changes lives.

During your weekend services, build your message around the value of serving and what it means to be volunteers in church.

Preach Joshua 24 which is one of the super chapters in the Scriptures on serving.

Preach on the 5 wirings which helps position people in line with their personality and gifts.

Reveal the servant hearts of Moses, David, Paul and of course, Jesus as you inspire your church to lay down their lives ins serving the cause of Christ.

3. Highlight unsung heroes

volunteers in church

In your services focus on behind-the-scenes people whose work can tend to go unnoticed.

Our church loves it when we highlight the work of quiet achievers who go about their service with a humble and gentle spirit.

I’ll never forget the moments in our church when we honoured the unsung heroes. It was inspiring.

4. Get volunteers to share their serving stories

Interview some exemplary volunteers. If possible, use multimedia to show a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what people actually do when volunteering.

Get inventive and use Skype or Zoom to link to volunteers working in different parts of your facility during a service.

Or use a YouTube video to show different ways people volunteer in your church. If you’re a small church don’t worry about making the video slick, just show people what they wouldn’t normally see. However, keep these clips ultra short.

5. Ask everyone to fill out a Volunteers in Church form

In each service ask everyone to fill out your Volunteering Opportunity form.

At the end of the service ask everyone to fill out this simple form that offers them a variety of service options.

Use our template to produce a simple and effective Volunteer Opportunity form.

Google Forms provide an excellent online option.

Pastor you can boost the serving culture in your church

Take a simple 3 min quiz and get personalized results with actionable solutions


6. Offer a First Serve opportunity

A First Serve is an excellent way to help your members who lack confidence in their ability, who are uncertain where they want to serve or who want to volunteer in another department. It is a one-off, low-risk opportunity to try something such as youth ministry or media productions. It’s a tried and true method of taste and see.

Always offer a First Serve as a part of your volunteer recruitment drive.

WARNING: First Serve only works when you have a diligent evaluation system in place that ensures the First Server is followed up with and has a chance to debrief on their First Serve.

If it worked, then offer them ongoing involvement.

If the First Serve didn’t work out, offer them another First Serve in a different department.

Keep trying until you find the right fit.

7. Set up an information booth

Set up an information booth in your foyer or online with details of various opportunities.

If this option appears to be over the top for your size church then at the least provide a realistic opportunity for people to talk to people immediately after the service about volunteering.

If you are presenting online then provide a simple link for people to fill out a Google Form.

8. Train volunteers to recruit their friends

A tap on the shoulder from a friend will complement your broader pulpit approach and often be more effective.

Train your volunteers who are already involved in serving to invite their friends to join their team.

Joining a team is a lot less scary when we know we have friends around us who will help us integrate into the team.

9. Get your small groups to discuss volunteering

Make sure your small groups are also discussing serving and volunteering during this month of recruitment.

10. Conduct an induction session for new volunteers

The last step in recruitment is a one-hour induction session. This session should cover an overview of your church’s vision and primary convictions about volunteering.

If you have difficulty getting people to attend an induction session, run it during a Sunday service in a separate room at the church.

Alternatively, take it online and run it in a Zoom meeting.

Both the Sunday and Zoom options make it accessible to people and solve multiple obstacles such as childminding and finding a free night.

Once induction is completed, training can commence.

It’s important to develop a comprehensive volunteer onboarding process. This provides a clear pathway for people as they move into serving in your church.

11. Follow up with people

Ensure everyone who completes a Volunteers in Church form is contacted and properly processed.

Pastor you can boost the serving culture in your church

Take a simple 3 min quiz and get personalized results with actionable solutions

John is a wellspring of information, experience and advice in all things church. His responses were often out of the box of what's been said before.
Ps Christie Blaikie
Oasis Church

Read our other articles

Using Humor in Sermons
succession plan template
7 Ways to Manage Church Finances During Economic Downturns