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2 Ways to Catch Great Volunteers

 —  March 31, 2009 — 5 Comments

Several times this week during the PDYM Conference I heard or used this analogy myself when talking about recruiting youth ministry volunteers. I like it … not sure where it came from … feel free to add your thoughts in the comments, too:

Cast a wide net… this is where you get up on stage and tell the whole church that you’re looking for some great volunteers to help in high school ministry. You make a passionate (while trying not to sound desperate) plea for help and talk of the rewards in Heaven for serving this important part of the church. It worked! You’ll have to screen out a few of the oddballs who want to come to the next overnighter, but you scored a couple of people to join your team.

… and be sure to use fish hooks, too. This is where you go after a specific person you think might be the perfect fit for your ministry opportunity. As opposed to going after everyone and getting no one time and time again – you think, pray and consider the perfect person. Usually these people are untouchable, unaskable (I just made that word up) or don’t fit the stereotype of youth worker. But you make the ask and hold your breath. Yes!

Cast the net wide for sure, any chance you have in front of the crowd is a marketing/heart/vision opportunity that should absolutely be taken – but don’t be afraid to move into a specific person with the ask and see if they bite. You must just be surprised which is more effective.


Josh Griffin


5 responses to 2 Ways to Catch Great Volunteers

  1. and don’t ask them via e-mail or over the phone. Face to face is best.

  2. Creating easy on ramps are important also. Pairing them up with well seasoned leaders that already know the ropes.

  3. Cast the wide net…just don’t drag it!

    When we cast the wide net it’s a quick, general call to explore the possibility of serving in the Student Ministry. We drag the net by posting specific opportunities to serve on a website or church bulletin board until we find someone to fill the positions. We drag the net by assuming that someone, anyone will eventually answer the call to serve. It’s often the case volunteers secured in this manner are motivated by guilt that “no one has stepped up” rather than a passion to care for students.

  4. I live in the Philippines and in the seminars that I do, I ask the leaders to know what kind of bait the fish (volunteers) want. Knowing this is half the battle won. Baits are very powerful in grabbing the fishes attention. Let’s just be careful that the bait we use lead them to Jesus and as we reel them in, a caring loving relationship follows.

  5. I am exctied to see the depth and commitment you teach, show and focus on the adult leadership connection.
    I know one of the strongest yet most challenging thing in ministry is to recruit, grow and retain a quality leadership base to grow.
    One thing in closing God has pressed on my heart. The one aspect of our ministry we over look is leadership.. we say and seek large groups of students and families but do very little to prepare the workers to minister to those we want God to bring.
    I thank you for bringing it real and fresh.

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