For years, I believed a self-imposed lie that I was "lousy" at recruiting. But I found that there are plenty of helps in this area and that, chances are, you are better at recruiting than you think. Let's take a look at six principles of recruiting (there are probably more). There is nothing new here, but it may serve as an encouraging reminder of some of the nuts and bolts behind recruiting children's volunteers.
- Bulletin announcements for volunteers are the least effective means of recruiting. If you use a bulletin announcement, make most of the announcement about how much fun and exciting your children's ministry is. End with contact information for any who might be curious enough to ask.
- Ditto with public announcements. 98% of the out loud announcement should be about how cool the children's ministry is. The last little bit should be something like, "And if you want to know how to get involved, see me after the service." And whatever you do, don't beg, don't threaten, and don't bring sad faced little kids up front and talk about these poor children who don't have a teacher.
- Personal invitations are the best, most effective way to recruit. Some of the best children's ministry volunteers I've had the pleasure of working with are the ones I walked up to and asked if they would help. The downside of the personal ask is that a lot of people will also say "no." But for the "yesses", it is exciting.
- Don't confuse personality with technique. You can practice solid recruiting methods even if you don't have one of those winsome, charismatic personalities (you know the kind I'm talking about: the gal who, after one short conversation about the latest fashion, can get Mrs. Jones to help with crafts after you've tried to recruit her for the last ten years!). Effective recruiting can be learned and practiced no matter how socially awkward you may feel.
- Recruit recruiters. The beauty of recruiting is that you don't have to do it by yourself. Contact people who know people. Ask the leader of the mom's group to help you recruit nursery workers. Get in good with the high school leader to see if there are some on-fire teens who would like to get involved.
- Pray. Yes, this should actually be first on this list and part of every other point!
What kinds of recruiting principles would you add to the list?