7 Ways to Find Volunteers

I can remember times when I was burning out, doing everything myself, with no idea how to find people to help me reach and disciple teens. Thankfully, I learned some effective ways to find and recruit volunteers that I would love to share with you!

1. Always be promoting and recruiting:

There can be a high turnover of volunteers in your ministry. Not only this, but if the ministry grows as it should, new leaders will need to be added.

2. Run leadership training seminars:

One way to meet keen individuals in your community or church is to be involved in leadership training. Many churches use programs like Leadership 301 to train volunteers. In this process you can spot who might work well in your area of ministry or you may be able to redirect them to another department of the church.

3. Find out who church people would want as leaders:

When participants in a ministry choose a volunteer, you have overcome the biggest obstacle in recruiting. Most people think that other church people would not want them around or see them as a leader. If you can go to them and tell them that other church people chose them they are almost signed on!

4. Create multiple levels of commitment:

Since some people cannot be there all the time, if you create various levels of involvement, your leaders who are good at certain areas of ministry can be freed up to work on that area specifically. Here are three levels that have worked for me:

a. Some time: These people can drive for events, bring in a snack once a month or help out when you do outreaches for just one special day. This volunteer can be called upon just a few times a year for specific events.

b. Part time: These people may be able to come twice a month on a regular basis but not every week. They can be on a rotation to set up chairs, do decorations, or other responsibilities depending on their gift set. Many children’s programs use the rotation schedule so that church people miss the church service only once a month.

c. All the time: These are your core ministry team people who are at every meeting, retreat, and event. They need to become trained in their area of ministry. These could be musicians who help with the music each week, children’s leaders, the leadership team for your youth ministry, committees that function in the church or deacons who are in charge of specific areas of ministry.

5. Survey the congregation for potential workers:

As a pastor on staff at the church, each year I sent out a volunteer survey to determine who may have skills that could benefit the youth ministry. It is remarkable to see the gifts available in one congregation that would bless so many different areas of ministry.

 6. Ask directly:

After such a survey it is very important to follow up by asking people directly and immediately. It is almost insulting to volunteer your time and skills and then feel rejected when no one asks you to contribute to the church.

 7. Invite potential workers to successful events:

Let potential leaders get their feet wet rather than immersing them in something they cannot get out of. Letting them see the ministry when it is running well might draw them to be part of what you are doing.

Don’t get discouraged…You Can Have More Volunteers

Even if you try three of these ideas you will find someone who can give time to teens. Along with these keep praying for workers as Jesus told us to… you know it is a prayer he really wants to answer!

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Ron Powell


Ron Powell is the Adviser to the Director of the Youth Ministry Institute at Vanguard College. He has been involved in youth ministry for over 30 years. He continues to volunteer, write, teach, and speak to parents, leaders and teens. If you would like to contact him you can email ron.powell@vanguardcollege.com