Recruiting Volunteers Like Jesus Did

recruiting volunteers

The Bible has a lot to say about recruiting volunteers. People always seem surprised to hear that. We’ve come to believe that “recruitment” was invented recently.

Jesus managed to get people recruited without bulletin inserts. Without announcements made from the pulpit. Somehow, he was able to recruit people as “disciples,” which involved more than a six month commitment and a willingness to attend a couple training meetings.

That’s why Jesus is my model for recruiting volunteers. I think he showed us everything we need to know about it in his ministry.

At each of the churches I’ve worked at we’ve had good success applying Jesus’ recruitment principles and practices. Over the years, I’ve had some of the finest volunteers I’ve ever met serving with me, and I’d trust them with my life. Even more—I’ve trusted them with my children’s lives as my daughters have grown up and gone through those classrooms.

In my book, Volunteers That Stick, I go into great detail and include twelve of Jesus’ recruitment principles and practices, and tell you how we’ve put them to use. I want to introduce you briefly to my favorite seven.


Recruiting volunteers by vision

Don’t talk about your desperate need for volunteers. Talk about what those people who are selected to serve in children’s ministry will do, and the impact they’ll have on young lives.

If you’re leading your children’s ministry, you are the vision-caster. Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God, and people responded. Could they see it? Taste it? Touch it? Not really…but they could feel it. They felt it in the words of Jesus and the vision he shared.

Walk the talk

Whatever I require others to do, I have to do. Volunteers value authenticity. They value integrity. Have both. Jesus is the ultimate example of that. He didn’t expect James and John to walk away from the family business to serve God without doing the same thing himself. Jesus was faithful all the way to the cross. He has the moral authority to ask the same of you.

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Jim Wideman is an internationally recognized voice in children’s and family ministry. He is a much sought after speaker, teacher, author, personal leadership coach, and ministry consultant who has over 30 years experience in helping churches thrive. Jim created the Children’s Ministers Leadership Club in 1995 that is known today as "theClub" which has touched thousands of ministry leaders each month. Jim believes his marching orders are to spend the rest of his life taking what he has learn about leadership and ministry and pour it into the next generation of children’s, youth, and family ministry leaders.