Strategy// Recruit and Equip Volunteers

by Strength to Stand

For the first time since I was 18, I am a church member. This may not sound like a big deal, but when all you have done in served on staff at church, it’s a massive deal.

As a student pastor, I have tried everything from a ministry fair, crazy idea push, bulletins blurbs, announcements from the stage and, yes…even tried to guilt people because I had a spot and I saw potential in the person (and I had to fill that spot). Basically, volunteers were recruited out of need instead of vision.

I never understood why people would not volunteer for small groups, crowd control, as game leaders or even cooks at a tailgate party. Let me tell you, since becoming a church member, I get it. I get why people say, “Thanks for asking, but not right now” to serving and leading. It’s not because they don’t love Jesus or want to serve, but because they are measuring life. Let me explain.

It better be worth it. It better be worth the volunteers effort, energy and their most valued piece, time. Leaders, we need to ask some questions of ourselves as we develop our strategy to recruit and equip volunteers.

  • Why? Why should they serve other than to fill a spot in a group? Why is it worth it for them to spend another hour or two of their week with students? We must answer this question with truly inspired vision and purpose.
  • Worthy? Is the program you are recruiting them to worthy of their commitment? Do you truly value the leaders worth? We must value the worth of our leaders.
  • Effort? Have you put in the time to be so prepared for the leader that they know the effort was put in for them to be most effective? Did you put effort into the curriculum or did you do a simple “click and go” approach? Do you put in the effort to get athletic passes for your volunteers so they don’t have to pay to get in to games? Did you give them a schedule of plays? The effort you put in will be maximized when its directed towards leading leaders. This multiplies our influence.
  • What? What are you doing to be most effective? Are you spread so thin with programs and events that you are creating volunteer burnout? What do you need to stop doing, restructure or add to be most effective at leading leaders and reaching students? Our goal shouldn’t be to do everything, but to do, what we do, with excellence.

In being a church member instead of a staff member, I’ve learned that to recruit and equip leaders, you must being intentional, value their worth, and put in the effort. No more “winging it” but truly understanding that what we recruit each leader to, is the amount of leadership that will be displayed. I pray that you recruit leaders with passion, purpose, vision and the mission of reaching the lost and to disciple the found.


Change the World,