Recruiting 101

Featuring Robert Locklear Posted on July 17, 2008

Bulletins, verbal announcements, web banners, videos, skits, desperate pleas, late night phone calls, begging, screaming and even, at times, praying. Recruiting volunteers is tough. I hope none of us have tried the African Safari route and reached for the tranquilizer gun!  But desperate times call for desperate measures and recruiting is usually full of desperation. Especially when your church technology and worship ministries are advancing faster than your volunteer pool (i.e. your weekly attendance or membership).

In the first chapter of the book of John we see several revelations of Christ's Lordship. The day after John baptizes Jesus, he sees him again saying, "Look, the Lamb of God." (vs 35). With John are two of his disciples. Upon John's testimony they tag along with Jesus for the day. We are not sure what Jesus said to them or the miracles (if any!) he performed but Andrew, one of John's disciples traveling with Jesus, was convinced that this was the Messiah. He went and got his brother Simon. Andrew and Simon eventually found Philip (they were all from the same town!). And Philip eventually brought Nathaniel to the team.

As worship leaders, our greatest recruiting tool is not ourselves. As a pastor and worship leader, my Sundays are full. I count it a blessing if I get out to talk to people between services (we only have 15 minutes between each service!). However, I have 20-30 team members who are not serving on a particular weekend. They are in the congregation worshipping and listening. They hear that tenor following the harmony or hear the comment from that closet audiophile about the sound mix. Our volunteers are our "disciples" and they are our greatest recruiting tool. But that doesn't make our task any easier. Here are some simple steps to making this system a reality for your church and worship ministry.

1. Cast the vision to your team
Let them know what to look for and how to handle the conversation: not too pushy but still stressing the importance of the gift God has given this individual.

2. Have a process in place
Once you receive names and start a conversation, have something that person can do.
- Meet with them for coffee to talk about their abilities, how they feel God wants them to use those gifts and the vision they might have for how they fit into your church's ministry. This is also something that your senior team leadership can do if you have adequately mentored them to do so.
- Have your audition process in place for vocalists and instrumentalists. Make it easy to understand and not so overwhelming that it scares people off! 
- Have training in place for your media, audio or lighting team.
- If you have directors or producers, make sure that those responsibilities are written down for new recruits so they don't become overwhelmed with these big jobs.

3. Celebrate
When the person is done with the interviews, auditioning and training and is ready to join the team, celebrate!  Give them a high five and cast the vision for how they can help your team continue growing strong.

This list is short and general. Add to the conversation. What do you do with your team to help with the recruitment process?

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