Let’s be honest, “recruiting” is the big challenge in Children’s Ministry, right? Everyone deals with it, and most of us struggle. Here are a few ideas that, believe it or not, I actually often see missing in the leaders’ recruiting approach.
1. Know your needs based on your mission.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been working with a leader who couldn’t tell me, on the spot, exactly what their needs are. Based on what you are trying to accomplish, the program you’re developing, etc., define what the roles are. Creates ministry descriptions. Know how people will work together. Know what you need to fit the position you have. Basically, have a plan!
2. Create multiple positions to meet everyone’s time, talent & preferences.
Somewhat opposite to #1, I will find a place for everyone who wants to serve. If they don’t exactly fit a need, that’s OK…I will create a role for them. Often times I’ve found that, once someone gets involved, they fall into one of the more defined roles I have. But if they don’t at the beginning, that’s not going to stop me from getting them on the team.
3. “Build it and they will come!”
What is “it”? VISION! People follow vision, so while defining roles and understanding your needs is critical, you don’t lead with that. Lead with vision, which means you need to have one, a compelling one, and you need to be able to clearly articulate it quickly. Can you? This is critically important. In fact, rather than recruit volunteers to a big need, why not invite leaders to a big vision?
4. Build relationships first.
I use this little acronym to help me remember that the process is first about relationships, then about recruiting:
- R elish the opportunity to lead
- E stablish relationships for the sake of relationships, not recruiting
- L earn about people – personalities, learning styles, etc. – & apply it to building relationships
- A ccept individuals as individuals, don’t force them into a box
- T alk first about vision, not position or need
- E nlist people because you know them well enough to know they’re heart
The #1 barrier to recruiting is the failure to ask. Folks, if you want to get people on your team you’ve got to ask them to be on your team…just like Jesus did!