3 Ways To Get More Volunteers

If you need or would like more volunteers you are in good company. The words of Jesus found in Luke 10:2 remind us, “The harvest is large, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord who gives this harvest to send workers to harvest his crops.” It sounds like Jesus was telling His disciples, “we need a few more volunteers.”

It feels like the growth always outpaces the people available to serve. Now, with that being said there are a few things we can do to get more volunteers.


1. Cast A Bold Vision

People want to be a part of something successful. In order to create a successful program you must have a vision or more specifically a vision statement. A dream of what you want to do. Proverbs 29:18a GW says, “Without prophetic vision people run wild.” A vision consolidates people toward a common goal, the lack of one causes chaos and it’s hard to organize chaos. Here are four questions to ask and answer when it comes to vision.

1. Do you have a vision statement?
2. Can you articulate it in 10 words or less?
3. Do your current volunteers know what your vision statement is?
4. Can they recite it if you ask them?

The answer to each of the above four questions should be yes if you want to get more volunteers.


2. Change Their Name

Stop calling your volunteers teachers. I realize this may be specific to those serving in youth, children or family ministry but I think it’s worth a reminder for one simple reason, fear! Did you know one of the biggest fears people have is public speaking? In one study the fear of death actually ranked lower than speaking in public! When we call our volunteers “teachers” what picture does that bring up in their mind? You are correct, public speaking. What alternate titles can we give our volunteers? Here are three options.

1. Leader
2. Staff Member
3. Team Member


3. Talk About How Many Volunteers You Have, Not How Many You Need

Given the right time and circumstances we can all get a bit depressed at our current volunteer, or lack of volunteer situation. Occasionally, we will voice that opinion to anyone who will listen. Don’t let your lack of volunteer participation frustrate you. Just think different.

If you need 20 volunteers and you only have 3 stop talking about how many you need (17) and start talking about the most amazing, incredible, dedicated and ambitious volunteers you have (3). It’s seeing the glass 1/4 full not 3/4 empty. Yes, the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. Jesus felt what you are feeling. Our own self-talk can often stop us from getting more volunteers. Here are three mindsets for us to think about.

1. I need to focus on what I have in order to get more.
2. I need to stop begging for volunteers because it makes me appear desperate.
3. I need to stop advertising in the bulletin because it makes us look unsuccessful.

I know you may have an “opportunity” with the last statement about the bulletin. If you continue to place the same advertisement in the same bulletin, in the same way, week, after week, after week, after week you are inadvertently telling people, “We keep asking for help because we are unsuccessful.” Is there another way you can ask others to get involved that’s clever, creative and refreshingly unique?


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