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Let's invite, not recruit people to join our volunteer team.

In his book, Simply Strategic Volunteers, Tim Stevens talks about the idea of using the term “inviting” instead of the word “recruiting” when it comes to bringing new people to your team. That’s so true. When you’re “recruited”, it has a connotation of really hard work. In fact, in a quick Google search, most of the definitions I found referred to the military- “they recruited the toughest soldiers”, “these new recruits aren’t ready for active duty yet”.

Plus, veteran volunteers can be hesitant when asked to recruit others. But everyone can “invite” someone. It has a much more pleasant tone and everyone loves to feel invited to something- “she invited me to her party”, “we got invited to have dinner with some friends”.

Start changing the language in your culture to “invite” instead of “recruit”.

It’s the idea of “Shoulder-Tapping” someone. People will feel included and wanted if you invite or “tap them on the shoulder” and bring them into your team.

Here are 6 Ideas for Inviting New Volunteers to Your Team:

1. Church Membership or Ownership Class.

Most churches have some type of membership class. This is a great way to share with new people in your church about the serving opportunities they could be apart of. Remember, you’re pitch should not be “we NEED people in Production”, cast vision as to what they would get to be apart of. Something like, “Who here has been impacted by our worship services, whether by giving your life to Christ or growing in your faith? In Production, we create experiences where life change happens! If you want to join us, we have First Looks available every Sunday morning at 9:30 in control room. I’ll be available to sign you up or answer any questions after tonight’s class!”.

2. Small Groups.

Find out from your Small Groups Pastor when certain small groups meet during the week. Contact small group leaders and ask if you can visit their small group for 15 minutes at their next meeting and let the small group know of the opportunities available in Production. I’ve also used this approach to use a few small groups for a season until I could build up the number of other volunteers. There are a lot of people not volunteering simply because they are unaware of the opportunity.

3. On-Stage Push.

Great for a message on Serving or during an announcement time, you could highlight the Production Team. Get creative here – possibly get “behind-the-scenes” shots of the crew serving on gear. Or you could turn the mic off on purpose or plan some ‘technical mistakes’ to show the role of the Production Team. You could also make a short “get to know the team” video that could air during your welcome time.

4. Announcement Slide.

Make a pre-service graphic highlighting your Production and the opportunities available to people. Run it in your pre or post service announcement loops.

5. Team T-Shirts.

There are some great benefits to having some of your own Production Team gear. You could make some T-Shirts with some quirky statements that would get people interested in serving on your team. Something like, “You don’t have to be a nerd to serve in Production. Find out how you serve with us at”.

6. Ministry Fair.

This is a classic way you can let people know about the ministries in your church. Plan some incentive for people to come- food, games and other activities make events like this less awkward. Make it a big family event- food vendors, bouncy houses for the kids, etc. As the Production Team, your booth or setup should be the coolest- screens with great media content, videos and photos of your team. Be sure to try not to make it to “techie”. You want to be inviting to everyone. People should not have to have a technical mind to serve on your team. You should want all kinds. Also, but your best people to mingle with people coming by. You want to show passion, fun, and excitement. People should want to be apart of the culture they see in your team.

I hope these 6 ideas give you a jumpstart to inviting new volunteers to your team.

What other ideas have you used that have been successful for your team?

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