Working with a military youth ministry, we have families that are coming and going onto this base all the time. That means I need to hold on to my volunteers loosely and always be ready to lose a few volunteers if they have to move on.
This means that I am getting good at giving the pitch to potential volunteers, communicating the need to them, and having a surplus of volunteers at all times. The hardest part is not asking people to sign up, but knowing where to find quality volunteers. Below are fifteen places you can find more volunteers that you need to look in your own community.
- Your congregation. This may seem obvious, but when is the last time you ran an announcement about needing volunteers when it was not an emergency?
- Other church volunteers. This one is so simple, it’s commonly overlooked. The concern is that you do not want to steal volunteers, but simply ask the ministry leaders if there are anyone that may need to change venues this season in their lives?
- Your personal Bible study. These people hopefully know you, so seek them out and see if they may help in any capacity.
- School teachers. These people know many of the students and already are working with them. This gives you more presence than most situations.
- Former volunteers. Some volunteers decide that they need to step back and take care of something or simply let go for a season. See if they are ready to come back.
- Former teenage parents. They may have had teens in your ministry and so they know what it means to parents. They have the vision, just equip them and let them serve well.
- Community activists. This can be anything from firemen to Boy Scout leaders. Those that want to see the community better are great for ministry.
- Other parachurch ministries. Maybe you have a local Young Life, FCA, or Youth for Christ ministry in your area and they want to help serve along side you. Excellent volunteers.
- Student leaders. Some students are ready to help serve in your ministry and they will be great. Make sure you screen everyone and always keep on top of it, but this is a perfect volunteer pool to draw from.
- Local university. As with student leaders, they probably would love to help. Screen well and offer lots of training.
- After mission trips. People want to find places to serve and use their gifts after they have served on a missions’ trip. Make sure they know you are looking and have info for them available right away.
- Adult small groups. These people are going more than just to Sunday service. There may be an individual or couple who want to give back as they have been invested in.
- Referrals from church staff. They have influences in the community that you may never get and these people are perfect!
- Referrals from current volunteers. These people have bought in and are perfect for more connections. Be careful not to develop an “insider group” but take advantage if you can.
- Church small groups. I know I have sort of said this with the Adult small groups, but that was on an individual level. Ask small group leaders if the whole small group wants to volunteer on special events as a whole group for your youth ministry.
What other areas have you found success in finding volunteers for ministry?