Picture this: It’s an average Sunday Morning in church in Anytown, USA. The kids are bouncing off the walls, the crowd is buzzing, and the energy is palpable! Suddenly, the silence is broken with a booming voice echoing through the halls. It’s the voice of the Children’s Ministry Director. She’s talking to a group of people whom she sees as possible volunteers. Then, the words come out – “We need HELP! We are overwhelmed! We have so many kids and not enough workers! HELP US!”
This is perhaps THE most ineffective way to recruit new team members. There is nothing worse than a Children’s Ministry Director standing up in front of the congregation and saying, “We are so overwhelmed. We HAVE to have help! PLEASE HELP US!”
Here are three reasons why that tactic is generally ineffective:
- It sends the wrong message to the audience. – The audience doesn’t hear “Things are so hopping and amazing in Kids Ministry” when they hear you say, “We need help!” They most likely hear, “We don’t have it together. We are drowning. We are desperate!”
- You are talking them out of helping before you ever even ask. – This type of approach makes the would-be recruit think, “There must be a reason they don’t have enough workers. Obviously, no one wants to work with them.”
- Nobody wants to board a sinking ship. – When you recruit from a “need”, it does not inspire anyone to join your team. It engenders fear in them and they want no part of it.
NEVER use the phrase, “No one wants to help!” OR “I can’t get anyone to help me!” That’s a lot like my son, who when he has something he wants to ask me, will often begin his question by saying, “I know you are going to say NO, but…” Guess what? I immediately say, “No!” I figure there must be a reason that he THINKS I am going to say NO. So, I just beat him to the punch.
Rather than recruit from a NEED, recruit from an opportunity! Explain to those would-be volunteers that, as a result of what God is doing in your Children’s Ministry, an opportunity has arisen. Let them know you have been praying about who the person should be to serve in this area. Tell them you felt led to talk to them because you feel that they have the right gift mix to be able to make a Kingdom difference in the lives of these kids. Now, THAT is a recruitment strategy straight out of Matthew 9:37-38 –
Jesus said to his disciples,“The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
Do you ever catch yourself recruiting from a NEED and “asking for help?” What is one thing you can do this week to change that?