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4 Solid Tips for Recruiting New Volunteers

It takes so much more than four walls and a pastor—or four campuses and a fully-staffed team—for the message of the Gospel to reach your community.

Man cannot live on bread alone. And a church doesn’t function because of just one person.

It takes so much more than four walls and a pastor—or four campuses and a fully-staffed team—for the message of the Gospel to reach your community.

You need volunteers. And lots of them. 

Ideally, you’ll recruit a team of volunteers who are excited about the vision of the church, show up on time and ready to work, and encourage others to join their efforts. 

But to do that you’ll need a solid plan. After all, volunteers give of their time freely. And these days, everyone’s time is pretty well accounted for. 

That’s why we’re here to offer you four tips for recruiting new volunteers. Let’s jump right in! 

1. Make it easy to sign up

Romans 5:8 reminds us, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (NIV). He doesn’t require our perfection to approach Him, and we shouldn’t expect too much from the person volunteering to man the parking lot. Willing hearts are enough. Beyond background checks for anyone working with kids, aim to have as little red tape as possible. When someone says, “I want to help,” put a smile on your face and begin looking for a spot that needs filling.

2. Choose your words wisely

Instead of printing a sign-up sheet for parents outside the nursery or sending out a guilt-trip call for volunteers from the pulpit, flip the script. Let your congregation know the difference a volunteer makes. Offer numbers, share a story, give thanks in a public way. Then say, “We need more people like that.” And watch your members rise to the occasion. 

3. Give ownership to your leaders

If you’ve got people you trust in places of leadership, let them take the reins in building and growing their team of volunteers. After all, they’ll know best how many people they need to keep things running smoothly on a Sunday morning. And a sense of ownership means they’ll encourage new volunteers to treat the church and its people with tender care and respect. 

4. Treat your current volunteers well

What happens when a church member watches a team of volunteers laughing together, praying together, and genuinely enjoying themselves while serving? That member wants to serve too. By caring for your current team of volunteers, you’ll not only retain the wonderful people who serve with you now, but you’ll also recruit new volunteers simply by the reputation of the team. You can create a culture of belonging. Here’s how

    • Have fun together as a team. Go bowling, plan a game night, host an outdoor hike and picnic-choose an activity that encourages laughter and fun. 
    • Get to know volunteers on a small-group basis. Invite a few volunteers over for dinner each month, and make time for chatting before and after services. Think casual, relationship-building conversations. 
    • Check-in on each volunteer individually. Remember, your volunteers are there to serve, but also to grow in their faith. Take time to ask about their lives and how you can be praying for them. 
    • Stay true to your word. If you say you’ll pray, do. And if you say you only need the team for thirty minutes after the service, don’t keep them longer. Honor your volunteer’s’ time just as you hope they’ll honor yours. 

Want to really amp up your volunteer recruitment? Try the MVP Boxa six-event, year-long strategy designed to help churches engage with both parents and volunteers. In this box, you’ll find tips for creating recruitment opportunities and celebration events, –which you can adjust to fit the style and culture of your church. 

We can’t wait to hear what the MVP Box does for you! 

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