Summary: There is no easy button when it comes to recruiting. It is hard work. Asking the senior pastor to make a plea for volunteers won’t get you near the results that good relationships and a personal ask will.

I want to talk about an important “Never Do” when it comes to recruiting. First let me say, there is no easy button when it comes to recruiting. It is hard work. Now, you can do things to make your work more effective, but it is work.

Now all of us tend to shy away from things that take work. Seriously. I get it. I am a man of many efficiencies. I work extremely hard to find repeatable and simple structures to avoid unnecessary heavy lifting. Therefore, I am not intending to shame anyone when I call out this common pitfall we have all used to try to gain volunteers.

This particular tactic that I am going to tell you to NEVER use, I must admit, I have used it and received very poor results. I call this an “Easy Button Recruiting Fail”. Here it is: The senior pastor pleads for more volunteers as a part of their sermon. Been there done that. People either feel emotionally guilted or emotionally charged up.

Here is the thing. It is just too easy to check a box on a welcome card that you are willing to serve in children’s ministry or as a greeter every 4th Sunday.

Here is my story. One time we begged the senior pastor to make the plea. He did. Here’s the thing. Ninety-one people checked that they would be willing to help in children’s ministry. Sounds great, right? Not so fast. Folks, there is a difference between the QUANTITY of names and the QUALITY of names. Now, don’t hear me wrong. I am not saying these PEOPLE were quality or not quality people. Not even close. I am saying that there is a difference between a quality volunteer lead vs. a large quantity of bad volunteer leads.

We spent 5 weeks chasing down these 91 people. Emails, phone calls, texts. You see, none of us on staff really knew ANY of these people. There was no relationship. So we wasted our time. We literally tracked it and discovered that after 3 months, two of those people were serving with us. After 6-months, not a single person was still serving with us.

Quick tip: Don’t ask for your senior pastor to plead for you. It just doesn’t work. Bottom Line: It all comes down to relationships and a personal ask. Be sure to check out as your one-stop-shop to help you recruit, train and retain volunteers.