In a meeting recently I had a prayer request that God would bring us more student leaders. It was met with the comment that in our church “we all need more volunteers.” All the more to be praying for it, I thought to myself. This is one of the areas I have had to most difficulty in being a student pastor. Word on the street is I’m not alone. Love to hear some of your thoughts on how you are building a culture that recruits leaders well and equips them to engage the students. Whatever your strategy, I’ve learned so far that in recruiting leaders it needs to personal, intentional and you need to be stubborn in the ask.
Being personal means meeting people. Go around and introduce yourself to people in church, smile and shake hands. Know their names and learn their stories. Invite potential leaders out to lunch or coffee to learn more about them and share the vision of your student ministry. Ask your current volunteers to be the same way, personable. It is a lot easier to invite people to serve when it is a place that they themselves can connect with and have fun.
There needs to be intentionality in “the ask” and have a strategy behind the process. Develop some key criteria and a vision for what a leader would look like and what they would do within the ministry. Write your vision for them and the strategy behind it. Have some key phrases that you and your volunteers use to talk about your ministry and create unison. Help make this process as easy as possible on them and on you. Look for key areas of people that can contribute to your vision and ministry. Ask some young adults, parents or college students and talk to them about how volunteering within your student ministry is a great place for them to influence the lives of students.
I think the most important thing I have learned in recruiting volunteers is learning to be stubborn. Be stubborn about the people you are asking to become leaders. Don’t let anyone just help, there may be things that you see that will not make it a great fit. Be stubborn in opening the door and be confident in saying no if there is something that says this person is not a great fit. Be stubborn in giving these people a vision about making the lives of students important to them. Don’t be afraid to challenge them to more, it may call them to stretch in their faith as well. Don’t settle for someone that is not a right fit just because you are in a crunch. Being stubborn about who you help lead and the vision for your ministry is crucial in recruiting the right leaders.
Recruiting leaders is inviting them to help influences the lives of students and change the future. This is not a position for everyone. While asking for help be sure you are personable in sharing the vision of your ministry, intentional in how that is down and be stubborn in who you ask.