Volunteers are such an important part of ministry. As leaders, we cannot do everything. (Even though we often think we can and try our hardest to make it happen alone.) It’s just a recipe for disaster. Here are a few tips to help you recruit volunteers for your media ministry:

1. Spend More Time Building Relationships

There are numerous people in your congregation with the potential to serve on your team. You often just need to step out from your media booth comfort zone on Sundays and get to know the people in your church. Sometimes people have gifts and skills that they’d love to use in ministry, but have simply never been asked. When getting to know people, I will often ask what they are passionate about. Not only is it great for conversation, but it makes it easy to make recommendations for volunteering.

2. Communicate Vision, Not Need

If pastors saying, “hey, we need people to help us do ______ next Sunday” from the pulpit was a successful way to recruit volunteers, we’d all be mega churches by now. People don’t give up their free time to a need. The way they see it, their lives are already full of taking care of needs—whether it’s their kids, home, or work. However, people will respond to opportunities to be a part of something exciting. Move away from “we need you” to “we’ve got this awesome ________ happening and it would be great if you got involved.”

3. Recruit From Your Youth Ministry

There is a goldmine of media-savvy volunteers in your church’s youth ministry. Getting them plugged in to your team is a great way to keep them interested on Sunday mornings. Also, parents love that their teens are participating. It’s a win-win. (This is what kept me coming to church as a teen. I’m telling you—it works!)

4. Get Newcomers Involved

Some people expect volunteers to practically have theology degrees before getting involved. That’s nonsense. I love getting newcomers plugged in on my media team because they get to be surrounded by worship and God’s Word as they serve. (Not to mention they are normally really excited to be a part of the team.) With some intentionality on your end, you can really use this relationship to begin discipling them and getting them closer to Jesus.

5. Offer A No-Strings-Attached Trial Period

One of the biggest reservations that people have about volunteering for things in church is the fear of being committed to it forever. By offering a short trial period to test the waters, you can take away some of this hesitation. These trials should last no longer than four to six weeks and I suggest being really intentional to invest in these newbies. Show them the ropes, explain why media is important, and communicate your vision for what’s next. At the conclusion of their trial, if it’s not for them, be okay with that. Express thanks for the time they gave. Be open to their ideas of how you can do things better and share a stories of how they made a difference in those few weeks.

6. Be Committed To Excellence

Excellence both honors God and inspires people. You know who wants to be a part of mediocrity? No one. As the leader of your media ministry, work hard to do things great. Strive to become better at what you do every Sunday. People naturally want to be a part of things that are done well. However, you should never let your pursuit of excellence keep you from allowing volunteers to get involved. You’ll have a great media ministry, but be doing everything by yourself.

Do you have any other ideas for recruiting volunteers? Let us know in the comments below!

13 Comments

  • Jacek says:

    Great ideas! I especially like the second one.

  • Nick Hampton says:

    I Iove all the points you hit and was thinking of numerous things that ministry leaders should NOT do to keep volunteers from joining a ministry. Lol. I seem to have that problem more and more over the previous years as I lead a Tech Production Team. Now…in those instances where it was more of an obvious reason (i.e. Not familiar with computers, other equipment, or just not fit the “here’s what we are looking for in a volunteer”) where the meeting usually ends with them realizing their gifts may be better served somewhere else. But the few where you thought would work out great and 2 weeks later they’re running for the hills. I have literally had to chase people down after a few weeks to find out…1) are they ok. 2) what can we do to help them find somewhere else to serve, 3) what could I have done better to help them not want to run away. Lol. Sometimes it’s not the inadequicies of people that keep them from serving…it’s the ministry leaders tactic and approach to presenting the area they are potentially serving in, and explaining the process without freaking them out or doing she it’s chaotic..or they see firsthand how stressful it is bc they came at the wrong time. Just my two sense. Love this post!!

  • Chandos says:

    I think it’s also super-important to not call it the AV or Tech team (no offense to Nick). We called it the AV team for since before I joined the staff and there wasn’t much luck recruiting people. We changed it to media team and suddenly it’s not quite as scary or geeky sounding, and people became interested. It’s unfortunate that people hold that stigma about AV/Tech, but I’ll call it anything if people are willing to get involved and serve :)

    • Kendall Conner says:

      That’s a very interesting point, Chandos. I can see where people would be turned off by the A/V terminology. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

  • LaChelle says:

    Great points of which I will use and follow!

    @Chandos …excellent point and will take that into serious consideration!
    Sometimes we forget what others *see* when doing something we love. We then get lost in something as simple as the titles.
    Great point!

  • Thanks for this, Kendall!

  • katsy says:

    We give our media team cool looking volunteer shirts.. so they can be one of the cool kids. We also do walk thru at pre servuce p practice.. when the hands on learning isn’t as rushed as live mode during services. One of my best video editors was a trial period camera operator who said “cameras just aren’t my thing.. can I try something else?” Helping people find their niche.. we call it the right seat on the bus.. is a true joy. Thanks for the reminders .. we want to draw quality people to the team. Best way to draw new folks is perform our roles to the best of our ability.. everyone wants to play on a winning team right??

  • Garnett Green says:

    The methods you listed does work, however I would love to add two more
    1. Welcome Curious Minds. Once in a while someone will come just to see what you do. Welcome them and allow them to observe explaining when possible. When they are ready to leave ask if they are interested to learn more and that you are willing to show them the ropes.
    2. Have an Open House once or twice a year.

  • ToddL says:

    Replace the word “Media” with “Music” and this still applies.

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