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Vision seems to be a popular word these days…and for good reason. Vision excites people and motivates them to get involved. Ever wonder how you can use vision to recruit church volunteers? Take a moment and consider these 4 ways to use vision to recruit church volunteers to serve.

use vision to recruit church volunteers

4 Ways to Use Vision to Recruit Church Volunteers

Vision is a picture of what your organization (or individual program) hopes to create in the near future.

1. Present an opportunity to respond — not a guilt trip.

Vision is not a way of guilting people into doing something. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use vision to recruit church volunteers. Vision is not a tool to tell people they “ought to be concerned and involved.”  The vision you have for your community is an opportunity for people to respond to a need. As a pastor, make sure you communicate it that way.

In his book, Visioneering, Andy Stanley states: “Vision translates into purpose. A vision gives you a reason to get up in the morning. If you don’t show up, something important won’t be accomplished. Suddenly, you matter. You matter a lot! Without you, what could be—what should be—won’t be. A vision makes you an important link between current reality and the future.”

Create an environment where your volunteers are excited to get involved. Give them ways to make a difference as part of your church or other organization’s future!

2. Provide a challenge.

Volunteers need and want a challenge. John Maxwell explains: “If we ask volunteers to merely open the door, we’ll be lucky if they do so. If we ask a volunteer to design the door she needs to open, we have created a challenge”
 (from The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader).

Don’t merely give them an activity to do. Allow them to solve problems and create solutions. Then they will move from casual volunteer to church leader.

3. Clarify how “behind the scenes” volunteers fit into vision implementation.

When you use vision to recruit church volunteers, remember that not all people want to interact face-to-face with others. Some individuals serve best by acting “behind the scenes.” There they can quietly lead with their strengths.

Some people quickly turn away from directly interacting with people they do not know. Calloway found that some cited this as their specific reason they do not volunteer (“Identifying Promotional Appeals,” p. 270).

I experienced this during my five years leading a volunteer-run event called “A Day of Hope.” We provided Thanksgiving meals each year for families in need. I loved serving and helping people. I quickly realized that the way I enjoyed helping was by leading, fundraising, planning, and organizing people. Some of our volunteers preferred interacting directly with clients as opposed to leading and organizing people.

When you use vision to recruit church volunteers you cannot discount the impact of personalities and strengths. Make sure you know what your church leaders enjoy and incorporate their passions into their roles.

4. Craft a vision that attracts volunteers.

When you craft a vision for your own church or organization, you will help motivate and encourage volunteers to serve. Here are three great examples of vision you can model after:

  • We envision a place hope and encouragement to families in need for Thanksgiving. (A Day of Hope)
  • To create a church that unchurched people love to attend. (North Point Community Church)
  • Our vision is to impact 100,000 Phoenix area residents by the year 2020. (Christ Church of the Valley)

When you craft your own vision, make sure your vision is:

  • Clear
  • Provides an opportunity to respond
  • Is not a guilt trip
  • Gives a challenge
  • Can be said in one breath (not a requirement but can help with memorability)

Focusing on these elements will make your vision precise and memorable. After all, it is where you want to see your church or organization head. Then, you will be able to use your vision to recruit church volunteers.

Need help crafting the vision for your church? Our church consulting team at the Malphurs Group can help you achieve vision clarity. This makes it much easier to use vision to recruit church volunteers. Complete the church profile below. Our church consulting team will give you a call very soon.

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Source: This post originally appeared on on Christopher Scott’s blog on December 15, 2014. 

Checkout Christopher’s other posts in his series on volunteering:
4 Elements of Casting Wide and Reaching Deep in Your Church Volunteer Recruitment
4 Ways to Use Vision to Recruit Volunteers
Creating Simple and Effective Volunteer Descriptions for Your Church

Christopher Scott is a student, leader, and regular blogger. He managed volunteers at the United Way for nearly 10 years. He holds a degree in Christian Ministry & Leadership from Fresno Pacific University. He is currently working on a master’s degree in Christian Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary.