Recruiting - For many youth workers it's a word we love to hate.
One of the most difficult but rewarding parts of leading a relational ministry is seeking and inviting other adults to serve. It's super exciting to see equipped leaders operating in their giftedness.
In my experience April - June has been an important time for recruiting new leaders and retaining existing leaders. It's important to complete recruiting before the craziness of summer hits. If your volunteer team is nailed down by the middle of June it gives you the freedom to enjoy the summer without being too stressed out about small groups leaders in September.
Historically this has been one of the most difficult parts of my ministry. I've experienced heavy stress, fear and frustration. Let's face it, finding the right people to serve students is hard work.
As you enter this season of recruiting here are a few ideas that may help ease the work load...
1. Create a punch list
First things first. Before you can seek leaders to fill roles you need to know what roles need to be filled. This begins with meeting with current leaders and discovering their intent for the fall.
After you figure out who's sticking with you create a list where you can clearly see the gaps that must be filled. As you create your list go ahead a dream about your leadership team. Maybe this is the year you have 2 leaders per small group. Is this the year you develop student leadership? Don't forget to plan for potential growth.
Whatever the case, make sure you have a clear understanding of the needs and dreams.
2. Pray like crazy
Ok, I don't mean to be overly spiritual here, but finding the right people to be in the right positions is a God sized task. We must ask Him to lead us to the right people. We need Him to prepare their hearts for the discussion.
Creating a environment of God dependent prayer is essential in finding the right people to serve students. And by the way, when God answers prayer we get the benefit and He receives the glory.
3. Ask your current leaders
Your best source for finding new volunteers is your current leaders. Assuming they've bought into the ministry vision they can be your biggest cheerleaders and informed recruiters. Each leader should be able to give you at least one person you could pursue.
4. Cast a broad net
An up front announcement to the entire church or an article in the church newsletter is a good idea. This won't be your most effective method of obtaining great leaders but you may pick up a name or so.
Communicating church wide is also a way for you to tell the story of your ministry and the priority on life on life relationship. It's good for the whole church to know the power and potential of your ministry.
5. Recruit like you lead
Get to know the heart of potential leaders.
Buy their lunch or coffee.
Ask them to tell you their story.
Find out about their family.
What do they do for fun?
Find out who discipled them.
Discover who they are personally.
You may find they are better equipped or passionate for other areas of ministry in your church. If so connect them with the appropriate ministry. You are not simply trying to fill a spot, you're helping them discover how God could use them.
At your first meeting don't let them give you a commitment about serving in your ministry. Share vision and clear information about the expectations and time commitment. Leave them with something to read and a ministry application. Then ask them to pray for a week.
After a week or so give them a call and see if they have any more questions and find out if they're ready to pull the trigger. After they say yes invite them to your fall training event or retreat.
Remember your relationship with them is just beginning. As you pursue, pray and care for them it will model how you want them to pursue, pray and care for students.
Having equipped adults who love Jesus and love kids has been a priority for my ministry for years. Recruiting and sustaining the right team is one of the most difficult pieces of relational ministry but also the most rewarding.
So, get started! Summer (then September) will be here before you know it.