Managing The Stress of Recruiting Volunteers

 Stress.jpegAugust is the time of the year that many church staff are feeling the pressure of recruiting for their fall ministies.  The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers few.  And the staff are feeling the pressure of both.   I remember this season well from my many years as a small group and family pastor.  My wife and kids remember it as well.  Dad was always a little more amped up.  

As we expanded the feature set of Churchteams, we turned our attention to ways we can help with this problem.  This solution has matured significantly over the past decade.  Here is a clear and proven path to use our church management software to solve the challenge of recruiting volunteers, especially for children's ministry.

  1. Send out the "Email request for updated information" asking your adult members to update their contact info, spiritual gifts and ministry interests.  
  2. Create a "Recruiting Group."  This group will be the hub for all your recruiting efforts.
  3. Go to Registration Settings (blue Edit button) and customize the form and registration experience.
  4.  Customize the "Group members - view" (dropdown box above roster) to include email, phone, spiritual gifts, ministry interests, notes and attributes like background check date (for kids ministry).  This turns the group into a dashboard to manage all your recruiting information and efforts in one place.
  5. Create your pool of potential volunteers:
    •  Use the "Add people to a group" (Member) report and filter by a response to a custom response like "Children" under the "Ministry Interests" attribute.  Be sure to review the list and remove those that are already serving.
    • Manually add people you know might be interested
    • Manually add people who fill out an interest or connection card
    • Put the registration link on your website for people to sign up
    • Email, text, post and tweet the link
  6. Now you have your dashboard of volunteers.  Begin to reach out to them.
    • Use templates to store commonly used emails.  Click the CT logo by their email address to create and access these.
    • Use spiritual gifts, ministry interests and other attributes to help you intentionally recruit based on gifting and interest.  You'll have better, long term results.
    • Use "Notes" to track every contact whether by email, text, call or personal visit.  This will help you track their progress.
    • Include in each note follow up instructions and choose a follow up date and follow up person (likely yourself).  The system will email and text a reminder to the person selected on the date chosen.
  7. If the person accepts the invitation to serve, transfer them to their permanent service group and possibly to a new volunteers group for training.  If they decline the opportunity or don't respond after many attempts, remove them from the group.
I remember the days of pieces of paper, miscellaneous emails, and stacks of connection cards all over my desk to remind me to call or follow up with people.  Those were anxious, stressful days.  If you can relate or know someone who can, share this email with them.  It would be our privilege to help you develop a system to bring intentionality and peace into your world of recruiting for ministry.
Boyd Pelley

Co-founder, Churchteams. From 1990 to 2008 served as discipleship, administrative and family pastor of churches in New Mexico, Nebraska and Texas. Married 30+ years, 2 married adult children.