Thursday, April 28, 2011

Breakout Notes from Recruiting Volunteers

My third breakout was How to Recruit Volunteers with Sue Miller. I absolutely love her passion for volunteers and she had so much to share not only about recruiting them, but also how to inspire them.

She began by sharing that she too has had those moments when calling a volunteer to ask them to serve when she would start out really strong and then by the end of the conversation she was feeling bad for interrupting their life. Then she shared the story of when her son had signed up for baseball and the first meeting with the coach. During that meeting the coach gave a list of things he needed from the parents. Sue said that she fully expected a revolt due to her experience with volunteers, but was shocked to see parents writing down the list without hesitation. What's the difference? She said that it was due to the coach stating what he needed and not expecting any less. That is how we should be about asking people to serve.

She said "Don't ever shrink away from the big ask!"

She said that today everyone is busy. The quality people we want in our ministry are already busy. The only reason they will bump something off their schedule for is to do something significant. That's where casting the vision comes in. We need to customize the vision and give people various options when asking them to serve. Can they give 30 minutes? Take it! Can they give 30 days? Take it all!

Too often once we have the volunteers we tend to throw them in. We need to give them a chance to watch. We need to make the time with volunteers. What are they interested in? What age group seems to call out to them? We need to let them know that we may not get it right at the beginning, but that we will continue to find the place right for them.

There has to be a place in your ministry that looks like family otherwise it's just a task force. People will easily leave a task force, but few will leave a family. There is a difference between a renter and an owner in the community. Every volunteer wants to be connected. We need to be the church to each other before we can be the church to our children. We want to turn every volunteer into a family member.

This is just the tip of the iceburg in all that Sue had to share during this breakout. I would love to sit down with her for hours gleening all her knowledge. Loved this breakout!

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