Leaders: have you ever found that, when you ask for volunteers, the wrong people will usually volunteer? People who can’t greet or smile volunteer to be greeters and ushers. People who can’t sing want to be on the praise team. People who hate kids will want to be in the nursery…
And then, you’ve got a bigger problem: how do you un-volunteer a volunteer? Now you’re stuck. The truth is, your A-level people will usually not volunteer. Your B- and C-level people volunteer; but your A-level people, who are ready to engage—will only do it if you you ask them: if they are recruited.
What’s the difference between a volunteer and a recruit? Volunteers say, ‘Yeah, I’ll help out here!’ Recruits say, ‘You want me? I’ll be there.’ Two different things attract two different categories of people. Just know that, if you ask people to go on your website or to a kiosk to sign up, A-level people are usually not going to do that. They’re waiting to be asked.
Generational differences also factor in. Boomers are okay with a lifetime commitment. Millennials are just as committed, but for shorter periods of time. The way that you ask: ‘We need help in youth for the next four months,’ makes a huge difference depending on the age group you’re talking to.
The best people are waiting to be recruited. Do you know who your best people are? Number Do you have a recruiting strategy? Once you’ve recruited them, do you have a care and development strategy? And finally, do your recruits know that what they’re doing is making an eternal difference?
Jesus never asked for volunteers; He always recruited.