Curious, by Jo Hood, is a monthly column. Jo is the Visionary/CEO of mainly Ministries, an organisation that remains curious as they resource and support local churches, church plants, missional communities, and Christian schools to connect with whānau in the community. 

Volunteers are hard to recruit. Yes and no! There are plenty of examples where volunteers flock to sign up. I’m curious – what’s their secret? My hunch; a compelling purpose. 

Let’s talk where to recruit 

Consider recruiting from within the group of people you serve. We know from research that people flourish when they commit to a cause greater than themselves. Looking out for each other brings enjoyment. Of those you serve, who could contribute by helping set up or serve? 

Let’s talk purpose. For partners of mainly Ministries, they’re connecting with community whānau/families of young tamariki/children. There are more pressures on whānau to earn more, be more, do more, provide more. There are less mums staying home to raise tamariki and less supports for them in the community. There are more grandparents involved in the parenting journey. Volunteers engaging in the group can be part of the necessary support systems for others. For volunteers with a passion to see people engage with faith, keep that purpose foundational. 

Who are the people of peace? When you identify people who exhibit love, joy, and peace (those people you think, They’d make a great follower of Jesus), ask them to consider participating. Maybe God is at work in them. Maybe they need to connect with your team to see faith up close and personal, still journeying at their own pace. 

If you’re recruiting from within your community of faith, pray. When God highlights the name of a potential team member, meet with that person, share the purpose, find out about the skills and passion they bring, and the time they would like to offer. 

Let’s talk church leadership 

Ask your church leadership to join in this recruiting journey. Your church leader probably connects with other church leaders in your area. Encourage them to talk about the need for people to join in caring for people in the community. We can work together, in unity, and participate together. 

Your church leadership will also know of people new to the community of faith. Perhaps their strengths, abilities, and interests align with where you’re serving. 

Let’s talk retirees 

Locate retirees who have recently stepped out of work commitments. Sometimes the move from work-life to retiree-life can be less exciting than originally thought. If your church has volunteer recruitment processes that provide suitable screening, consider advertising on-line for retirees who might like to serve. 

Let’s talk success 

As you take on new recruits, keep them connected with the purpose. Make sure you communicate the 

values and purpose well, provide times to socialise outside the sessions to create team cohesion, ensure you have ways for ideas to be considered, and care for each other as you would for those who attend. 

Read other Curious columns by Jo Hood here. 


Photo: supplied by mainly Ministries, from iStock  

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