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5 ways to recruit volunteers

By Natalie Bannon

This is the second video in a three-part series about growing volunteer ministries. We thank The Chapel in Brunswick, Georgia for sharing their tips.

Imagine a table filled with presents. Some are small. Others are large. Some are packaged simply with brown paper and twine, while others are colorfully decorated with glittery bows. Which one would you choose? Potential volunteers are faced with a similar experience when choosing a ministry to join. We’re all drawn to different aspects of church ministry. As we consider our area of service, we look at the way each ministry is packaged. Here are five tips for portraying your ministry so that volunteers can clearly see how they can use their spiritual gifts to serve.

1. Refine your vision

Before you can invite others to join you in ministry, make sure the ministry you lead is built on a solid foundation. Spend time hearing from God, re-examining your vision and determining your direction. Take time to write it down and share it often with others on your team. Make sure all volunteers can clearly explain your ministry’s vision in one minute.

2. Find a place for everyone

There should be service opportunities for everyone in your church. Get creative in establishing ministry roles and find places for people of all gifts and talents to get plugged into service. Don’t expect everyone to fit pre-determined roles. Be flexible enough to recognize the unique ways God has gifted each of us, and help them find a role that uses those gifts to the fullest.

3. Delegate responsibility

Leaders often have a picture of what they think the end result of a ministry or program should look like, and any departure from that feels like failure. Accept that when you invite others to be a part of that process, the end result is not the goal—the relationships developed during the process is the goal. The ministry will change and grow into something more diverse when you involve a team with varying gifts and abilities—creating a much wider impact.

4. Train and equip

God wants us to be thoroughly equipped so we can do the work He has called us to do. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to create an environment of constant training and equipping so our volunteers are given opportunities to grow personally, spiritually and in their specific roles. These training opportunities can be large group gatherings, email encouragements or personal devotionals for them to use at home.

5. Know how to fish

Recruit like Jesus did! Jesus sought people personally. He didn’t wait for them to realize their need and He didn’t talk about schedules. Jesus identified gifts, knew needs and asked others to join Him in mission. He also asked friends to serve together and put them to work right away.

Establish a ministry in which volunteers can grow in their relationship with Christ. Then, the volunteers will become your ministry’s best recruiters.

If you’d like additional information about any of these tips, download the Volunteer Leadership Training Guide from under the resources tab or email And if you want tips on other church topics, go to