I need more volunteer leaders! Haven’t we all been there in ministry?

I frequently see questions about recruiting in my various youth ministry communities. Questions like: How do I build a team? How do I get more people to join our team? How to I get the right people on our team? How do I raise awareness of the needs we have on our team?

Prayer is a vital part of anything, Of course, we need to be constantly praying about this—that God will lead us to the people He wants on our team. But I also wanted to share a few additional tips I’ve learned over the years when it comes to recruiting.

Create awareness of your needs.
We have to be talking about our ministry. If you are someone who reluctantly tells people about your ministry, it’s time to change that. However, I don’t think announcing your needs from the stage will produce the outcomes we want, I do think it needs to be a regular thing you are talking about with people in your church. And be strategic with this. If you’re talking about those needs with your senior pastor, elders, and other leaders, they will then help you spread the word to others they know.

Tell stories about your current team.
One of the ways to build excitement and awareness is to tell stories. Share about the great things your existing leaders are doing. This will not only encourage them, but it will also help others know that they can be a part of that too. This can be done in small conversations, in front of a crowd, or on social media. In fact, it probably needs to be done in all of the above. For those who shy away from the impression that you are bragging about your ministry, take this approach to instead brag on your team.

Encourage leaders invite their friends.
Many of us have probably thought we need to be the one who is building our whole team. Instead, consider taking the same approach that we often use with our students: If we all invite one person to join our team, we can double in size. If you have a great team, ask them to pray about asking one of their friends to join them. Then you’ll be able to begin duplicating your existing rockstar leaders. On top of that, you are handing over more ownership to your existing team.

Get a gifted recruiter on your team.
If the thought of recruiting makes you sick to your stomach, consider recruiting just one more person. And that person needs to be an amazingly gifted recruiter that can take that responsibility from your shoulders. Even though you might hate it, there are some people who love it. Find those people and give them a place to use their gifts. Then you can lean into what you do best.

Create a great team environment.
Do people love being a part of your team? Are they so excited to serve that they cannot wait to show up? Do they feel like they are in the place where God wants them and are seeing Him constantly work through them? Is your team having a blast together? If we create a team environment like this, we will, theoretically, never has to recruit again. Lead your team well, and people will eventually be knocking down your door to serve.

After implementing some of these into your recruiting strategy, I believe you will begin to see more people want to serve in your ministry, but please remember to do all your due diligence in requiring applications, interviews, and background checks for your team. Do not overlook these very vital steps in the process!

While recruiting isn’t always easy, remember that you are giving people opportunities to serve. They aren’t just filling a spot. And for those who will serve in student ministry, they are not simply babysitting or chaperoning. They are playing a role in helping others know Jesus and grow as a disciple.

Every spot on your team is important. Try not to get overwhelmed. Instead, focus on the amazing opportunities you are giving people!

Do you have additional tips that have worked for you? I’d love to hear them!

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