Never Ask For Help

This may seem crazy, but asking for help is one of the best ways to make sure no one signs up to help. Yet, over and over again I see churches make this mistake when recruiting volunteers.


When you ask for help, you communicate a lot more than you realize. Here’s just a few things asking for help communicates:

  • We’re Desperate – We have such a hard time finding people to volunteer at our church that we’ll take anyone.
  • We don’t have a compelling vision – We’ve never taken time to find what God has called us to do. We’re just trying to fill holes.
  • We don’t mind guilting you into serving – If someone doesn’t volunteer in kids’ ministry, then little Johnny may never hear about Jesus.

It should come as no surprise that this strategy doesn’t work. Sure, it may work on a few people, those people that have a high sense of guilt, those who always sign up for everything. They’ll serve for a while, but eventually they end up frustrated and burned out. Then it’s back to square one.

Let me offer a better strategy. This is a strategy that we’ve seen work in our church over the past several years.

Instead of asking for help, offer opportunities. What type of opportunities?

  • Opportunities To Use Your Gifts – We don’t want you to fill a hole. We want you to find your passion.
  • Opportunities To Grow Yourself – We don’t want you to just become a volunteer. We want you to become more like Jesus.
  • Opportunities To Impact Lives – When you share the love of Christ with others, you get the chance to see others fall in love with Christ.

Just by changing the language you use, you will see an instant increase in the number of people who sign up to serve at your church. Then, if you teach your current volunteers to invite others to serve alongside them using this same language, your volunteer ministry can multiply even faster.

What are some ways you recruit volunteers at your church? What strategy has worked and what hasn’t?

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