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Recruiting Volunteers by Sharing your “Why”

John Gilman November 15, 2016

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Recruiting new volunteers is an ongoing need in growing congregations. As people move or experience a change in life circumstances, they move out of certain volunteer roles, leaving gaps in serving areas. It can be challenging to communicate needs to the congregation without sounding desperate or pleading. The goal is to recruit volunteers who are invested, eager to participate and bought into the vision of your ministry.

When sitting down with someone interested in possibly serving, it makes sense to explain to them WHAT they will be doing and then HOW they should do it. If you want them to grasp the vision behind what they are doing, they need something more significant than the WHAT or HOW. In Simon Sinek’s famous TED talk, he explains that great leaders inspire action by starting with the WHY. According to Sinek, this is what sets the “Apples” of the world apart from everyone else. After all, WHY the church asks people to park cars, greet guests, seat congregants and minister to children with excellence is the heart and soul behind the serving.

As a leader, it is essential to communicate WHY your ministry happens and then your volunteers can decide if it is the place where they want to serve. This can look like asking a key volunteer to share their experience in serving and how it has positively impacted them. Or it can be a parent sharing the way the children’s ministry has influenced their child and made a difference in his life. Or allowing a member of the congregation who has found comfort and direction through your church’s care team give a brief testimony.

So first, you and your leadership need to be able to easily verbalize WHY your area of ministry exists and WHY you choose to serve. Communicating this with transparency is impactful and resonates with people. The WHAT and HOW naturally follow. People who know the WHY are more likely to truly invest and stick around. That is what you are looking for: investment and commitment.

Can you verbalize the WHY of your ministry area in less than 60 seconds?

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