Before You Recruit

Recruiting is the never-ending part of our ministry jobs. To a certain degree, ministry is a revolving door. To maintain or grow your ministry, you have to recruit more people than those who are stepping out. Before just going on a recruiting spree, there really are several things we should do before we recruit. Hopefully these ideas will help you recruit more strategically and stick better volunteers. Know what volunteers you need. Last year I wrote a post about how many volunteers you need. Knowing how many of each kind of volunteer is very important. Visually displaying this in your...

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Fresh Volunteer Recruiting Tips

A few years ago, I was working as a sales trainer. I would train new hires into the company over a two-week orientation. I found the difference between a good salesperson and a great salesperson comes down to their understanding of a feature and a benefit of our product. Whatever product you are selling, that product has many great features. For example, I have an iPhone, that I love, and it has some amazing features. The many features include 4.3 inch touch screen, 16 gigs of storage, 16 mega pixel camera with a flash, finger print id, full HD,...

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Recruiting On Ramps

Over the last year our team has been evaluating how we recruit, equip and train new volunteer leaders. We want to be sure that a preschool small group leader receives the same care and training as a 3rd grade small group leader. We’ve developed a 5 step process for each new volunteer that helps equip them to be the best small group leader they can with a firm understanding of both our curriculum and policy/procedure. The process is efficient and understandable by our coaches and team leaders and I feel confident that each new leader is receiving the tools and training to...

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Getting and Keeping Volunteers

I recently asked a new subscriber to this site what her greatest challenge as a ministry leader was and she replied “getting and keeping volunteers.” It’s something we all can relate to, right? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t need more volunteers. However, there’s a very interesting relationship between getting and keeping volunteers. I find that we’re usually better at the getting and because we’re not always good at the keeping, we have to keep on getting. Know what I mean? I recently read a pretty amazing volunteer book from my friend Darren Kizer, “The Volunteer Project: Stop Recruiting....

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Why you must excel as a communicator

Just this last week, I’ve been busy with the tedious project of converting old VHS video to digital video for archiving purposes. It was fun watching videos of me speaking as a 22 year old Children’s Pastor or briefly speaking at my High School graduation. Thankfully, I’ve come a long way. I’m a little embarrassed by how “green” I was. I fumbled over my words and lacked the skills that would come with years and years of experience. Watching these videos reinforced something I believe with all my heart. The level of your leadership will be determined by your ability to...

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7 reasons why my volunteers serve every week

I don’t want to mislead you. This is a post why I’ve created a ministry environment where volunteers serve every week. The title isn’t 100% honest. 92.3% of my volunteers serve every week. I have a few legacy volunteers (less than ten wh0 have been serving for more than 4-5 years who have not transitioned to a weekly role). As persuasive as I am, I just haven’t been able to convice them… yet. I also have a handful of of volunteers who work on some Sunday’s like police officers, fire fighters and nurses. Those are the 7.6% of my...

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How many volunteers do you need?

I need 112. 10 in check-in/hospitality, 33 in early childhood, 46 in elementary and 23 in students… give or take a few. No really, do you know how many you need? I remember sitting with my staff a few years ago and asking this very same question. Everyone was frustrated. They needed more volunteers. I wanted to help, so I simply asked, “how many volunteers do you need?” I didn’t like the answer they gave me. A bunch. Really? Like 10-20 a bunch? 40-50 a bunch or are we talking 100+ a bunch? No reply. Being on the leadership team...

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Live to Serve: Invest in your Volunteers!

I’m a huge believer in local/regional events. Especially ones geared to volunteers. One of the best events I’ve ever been a part of is the Live to Serve event happening in four locations this February and March. It’s a specialized, one day training for kidmin volunteers. I had a little to do with starting the conference and it’s morphed into something far better than I first imagined. However, I will tell you this. Nothing has had as big of an impact on my volunteers as this event. It’s why I helped start it so many years ago. I’d take...

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Onboarding Volunteers: Orientation

It’s funny how often your policy manual needs to be updated. When I got to Gateway over six years ago, I inherited a policy & procedure manual. I felt that it was about 60% accurate. There was terminology I didn’t like and many procedures that I felt were unnecessary. We gave one to every new volunteer and I would cringe a little every time we’d put it in a new set of hands. However, rebuilding a policy manual is one of my least favorite tasks. It takes forever and no one enjoys it. It’s the easiest thing to procrastinate...

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The reason you will never have what you need

Several weeks ago I attended the Catalyst One Day hosted at a local church. Content delivered by Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel left me with dozens of ideas to process, but one single thought has returned to the surface more than the others – something Craig mentioned. He explained how church leaders often say things like, “Our volunteers will never show up at the time when we need them,” or “Families don’t seem to care about the resources we’re creating for them.” He described that these statement are looking at the situation from the wrong perspective. What we should...

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