Summary: After casting the vision and value of the volunteer role, and how you can envision the volunteer, with their unique gifts and abilities in this role, end with my #1 recruiting line — “Please feel the freedom to say no.”

I have shared this concept with you before. And yet, some ministry principles demand a second hearing. I have an always and forever “GO TO” recruiting phrase. My #1 recruiting line is saved until the end of my recruiting call. By the time I share this recruiting phrase, I have boldly cast the vision and value of this role. I have shared how I can envision them, with their unique gifts and abilities in this role. Before I drop my #1 recruiting line, I will have shared everything about the time commitment, the start and end time, the requirements and more. I have left nothing on the table.

Before the call closes, I make sure to include my #1 and top recruiting line of all time . My #1 recruiting line is, “Please, feel the freedom to say NO.”

Listen, I am a persuasive person. I do not want to use those gifts incorrectly. I do not want to try to do what Obi-Wan-Kenobi did to those Storm Troopers and manipulate the situation. “These are not the droids you are looking for…” I don’t want to use guilt, manipulation or inappropriately leverage position or persuasion. Honestly, I want them to feel called and compelled to do this role. I want them to ask of God. Check in with their Heavenly Father to gain His direction.

You may have heard this from me before, but may I share it again? I honestly feel this ONE phrase, if it comes from your heart, will change everything. Now, you might ask if anyone has stopped the conversation and said, “Sweet! I’m out. My answer is NO.” Here is the reality: No one has ever jumped forward and said, “I’ll take you up on that no right now.” That has never happened. Honestly, the reverse has happened. People feel safe. They don’t feel I am trying to pin them into a corner. Who wants that, right? Truth be told, this one phrase, when used with a pure heart, breathes so much oxygen into the conversation. There is no high pressure sale. I am sorry, that just seems wrong.

Rather than saying an instant no, people’s response could be summed up in one word: Relief. The most common verbal response has been “Thank you, I appreciate you said that.” Bottom line: Give people the freedom to say no. Be sure to check out as your one-stop-shop to help you recruit, train and retain volunteers.