So you know you need a team, but where do you start? How do you find new team members? The thought of being a recruiter may be a scary one for you. If you intend to have a ministry of lasting impact and influence you must be a recruiter for your ministry. Youth Ministry is by nature a transitional ministry. Students transition into our ministry from the children’s ministry, go through our ministry, and then transition out of our ministry as they graduate. Likewise your team will in some degree always be transitioning. Therefore, even if you have an established team you must always be acting as a recruiter for your ministry.If you are just beginning this is an even more essential role for you to play. Here are three things you must do to be an effective recruiter for your ministry.
1. To be an effective recruiter you must always recruit on vision not on need.
This is probably where most Youth Pastor’s go wrong and yet it may be the most important need when it comes to being an effective recruiter. Here is the difference. Recruiting on need says, “We need 2 people who would be willing to lead a small group for middle school boys.” That need is then placed in the bulletin, announced from the pulpit, sent out in newsletters, etc. When you recruit like this one of two things usually happens. You get wackos, and/or you get people who aren’t really committed for the long haul. You are essentially recruiting warm bodies (or zombies, they may be the only ones brave enough to work with the middle school boys small group). Recruiting on vision says, “God is doing (or beginning) amazing things right now in our ministry. I want to ask you to consider coming along side our Youth Ministry and be a part of something great in the lives of our teens.” The need is still expressed, but you are inviting them to be a part of something much bigger. You are painting for them a larger goal. Obviously this will be a longer conversation with a potential team member, but you get the idea.Now which one would you be more likely to say yes to? Recruiting on vision gets buy in from your team and does not just fill a spot for the sake of filling a spot. Recruiting on vision is also contagious. This makes being a recruiter for you ministry easier over the long haul. If you are going to be effective in your position, you are going to have to be an effective recruiter. To be an effective recruiter you must always recruit on vision and not on need.
2. To be an effective recruiter you must master the personal ask.
Without a doubt the number one reason more people do not serve in your ministry is because they feel they have not been asked. Oh I know, you put it in the bulletin, announced it from the pulpit, asked at your parent’s meeting, put it in the newsletter, put it on the website, on Facebook, on twitter, and Instagramed a picture of you holding a sign asking for help. The fact is, for most people if you don’t ask them personally, they won’t feel that you are asking for their help. I could probably do an entire series of posts on this one need (and I may at some point). The personal ask must have certain things to be effective:
- Pray about who to ask…a lot.
- Ask them in person (a no brainer). Do not ask over email, text, or if possible over the phone. A face to face ask is always more powerful. It also makes it harder for them to turn you down without strongly considering it.
- DO NOT give them an easy out. Don’t make apologies for asking. For me, I feel that if someone chooses not to serve in our Youth Ministry they are missing out.
- Be specific with what you are asking them to commit to and how much time it will take. There is nothing worse than thinking you are committing to one thing only to feel later you have been misled.
- Do not be afraid of rejection. Some people may legitimately not be able to serve or want to at this moment.
- Always leave the ask open-ended if they say no. Say something like, “We are always needing caring adults to invest in our teens. I will let you know of future opportunities you may be interested in as they come up.”
To be an effective recruiter you must master the personal ask. It is not as hard as it sounds, or as scary. You can do it.
3. To be an effective recruiter you must identify new potential team members.
If you do not know who to ask, you cannot ask them. There are several things you can do to help with this. The two ways I primarily do this are pretty simple: First, I always start with parents in my ministry as they have the greatest stake in our success. As mentioned in the previous post on the need for a team, this also provides an in route for parents into your ministry. The second way I identify potential team members is by asking my current team members to suggest people. My current team knows the ministry better than almost anyone as they serve in it already. Who better to help identify people who would be a good fit than those who are already working alongside you? Your current team has a huge stake in the success of your ministry as well. They want you and the ministry to succeed.If you want to be an effective recruiter you must identify new potential tam members it invite on the team.