Tim Stevens wrote Simply Strategic Volunteers and said something that has stayed with me ever since. We should use the term “invite” instead of the word “recruit” when it comes to adding volunteers to your team. Being recruited sounds like something connected to a military or army, where there’s a significant amount of hard work coming your way. Plus, it’s a bit weird when you have to ask a veteran volunteer to recruit their friends or family.
But everyone can “invite” someone. It’s not too intense, and has a pleasant tone to it. Think about it, “I was just invited to this party, want to join?” Seems so easy to respond to. So lets start changing our language in the culture of creative ministry and start considering the term “invite” over “recruit”.
With that in mind, here are 6 volunteer invitation ideas:
1. On-Stage Push.
This is the obvious one, but it’s where the phrase of “invite” can be most broadly cast to everyone who attends on a Sunday morning. Maybe make it a whole service or message around service, or as simple as an announcement from one of the pastors to join a few teams. Get creative here too. Encourage to use words like “you’re invited to serve behind the scenes” or you could intentionally turn the mic off, and then allow it to be a memorable pitch to be invited to “help those technical people.” Another idea, if you don’t want to have an actual pastor on stage, create a short “getting to know the creative team” that could air right before someone comes up to do a few other announcements.
2. Team T-Shirts.
Everyone loves t-shirts, especially those in a church. And the best part, is that printing a custom t-shirt is fairly inexpensive. Another idea to invite people to join your volunteer team would be to print a shirt with the phrase “You don’t have to be a nerd to serve in production… find out more at FBCproduction.com.” There are a ton of ideas to use a quirky statement to get someone interested in serving, and these are great ways to get the word out!
3. Ministry Fair.
Plan an incentive for people in your community to come to the church some evening or after service one week and invite them to meet the various ministry team leaders in the church. Maybe it’s food, games, etc, but have something to capture their interest for the entire family. And then make it a big event, and have various tables or stations around to let people interact with the various serving opportunities. AS a production team, you could use TV’s, projectors, etc to create a really cool booth, attracting those who are interested in the equipment you use regularly. Be sure to not make it too techie though, as you don’t want people to think you have to know too much to serve. You’ll want all kinds of people.
4. Announcement Slide.
Another obvious one, but make sure to let it stand out. Don’t just put “you’re invited to join the creative team” but instead have fun with it… like “the team that gets away with wearing black to church” or something clever. Make sure to put it in the announcement loop before and/or after your service. If you have a cafe, you may want to run it on that loop as well. Make it easy for introverts to sign up too! Production, creative and technical teams are a great place for them to serve, since they won’t have to stand at the door and smile at everyone!
5. Small Groups
Find out if your small groups pastor is willing to have their group leaders announce your ministry needs. Or if you contact the leaders of various small groups yourself, see if you can share for 10-15 minutes about the creative team, etc. I’ve used this approach to use a few small groups for a season until I could build up the number of volunteers. There are a lot of people not serving in a church because they are unaware of the opportunity, and this is a great way to get in front of them. Best part – is you’ll have an instant community if multiple sign up, so they have a better chance of signing up!
6. Church Membership Class or Newcomers Class
Most churches have some sort of membership class. This is a great way to share about the serving opportunities that are available to newcomers to your community. Remember, don’t use the phrase we “NEED” you, but invite them and cast a vision of what the role you play in worship and in your community. Maybe start with “who here has been impacted by our worship services, whether by giving you life to Christ or growing in your faith? In production, we create experiences where life change happens! If you want to join us, we’d love to invite you to be a part of our team.” Then follow up with an easy way for them to get in touch with you, maybe give your cell phone number out so they can text you or your email address to make it really convenient.
I hope you have a new vision for inviting new volunteers into your team, and these 6 ideas can help give you a jumpstart. If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear about them on Twitter, Facebook or even in the comments below!