Since releasing our free ebook, Huddle Up, we’ve gotten a few questions. This one is from Dwayne:
Hey Kenten and Adam,How would you go about recruiting people or motivating people to serve in this capacity? I appreciate how the book said telling the “why” behind it. I think that is huge. What about people who just don’t serve?It’s been a bit difficult recruiting people in this capacity but I have seen some improvement.Any thoughts on helping people to see the importance of it?
This is not the first time we’ve heard this question in one form or another, and while we don’t have a perfect system for recruiting volunteers, there are a few strategies that we’ve found effective that may work for your context also. Here are 3 of those strategies:
Explain the impact through a story:
The most powerful ways you can communicate an opportunity is through a story. Jesus used this strategy in many of his teachings where he taught using a parable. Telling someone what is needed or how to act is rarely effective. Teaching someone through a story is almost always effective, because when we interact with a story, whether it’s through a video, listening to someone tell their story or reading about someone else’s story, it activates our brain in a way that receiving information doesn’t. It puts us in a place where we participate and do our own learning.
Instead of saying something like “We need some friendly faces to hold the door one Sunday a month” try to find a story.
“This person sat in his car for 10 minutes before walking into church because he was hesitant about coming back to church. He went to church growing up in the last city he lived in, but since moving over a few years ago, he felt like he wouldn’t find a church that was welcoming to someone who had been away from church for so long.
When he mustered up the courage to come in, he was welcomed at the front door by so and so. At that moment that he knew he’d found a family where his faith could grow. Would you like to welcome new guests to our church?”
You could tell a story of the person who is serves on the team as an invite to new members: “I lost my job last Saturday, and on Sunday morning, I just wanted to stay in bed. I really didn’t feel like getting up, but when I got to church and started setting out the coffee, So and so asked how I was doing, noticing I wasn’t my usual self and prayed with me. That’s the power of being part of our team.”
One of the best parts of explaining the “why” through a story is that when someone really understands the potential for their impact, they’ll be willing to stand out in the rain, snow, heat or whatever challenges come. They’ll take personal responsibility knowing they are making a difference for someone that Sunday.
Have clear expectations:
Will your door greeters serve one Sunday a month? Will they serve before service every other Sunday? Is it before and after service? Are they opening doors from the inside, so they can dress with indoor clothes? Will they be standing outside the doors so they need to dress appropriately for the outside weather? Who is the team leader that they will report to? Who do they ask if they have a question they can’t answer, like if a door is jammed shut, or where to find the snow shovel for the sidewalk?
Sometimes people are unsure about serving because they’re not clear on expectations. If they think they may have to serve EVERY Sunday, then they may not sign up, but if they realize it’s only one Sunday a month while their wife is there for sound check before service anyway, they may be willing to help.
The next step with your clear expectations (and checklists from the ebook: Huddle Up) will be to ask your team to learn to multiply themselves – maybe a younger member they are discipling or a friend that they notice isn’t serving. With clear expectations, it becomes really easy for your team to invite friends to join, because the expecations can easily be communicated.
Clear expectations as an invitation to join the team sound like: “Would you like to hold the door with me on the 1st Sunday of the month? We get here 30 minutes before service to clear the sidewalk and then we continue to hold the door for 15 minutes after service starts for any guests that are running a few minutes behind.”
Talk about the WHY.
This has been mentioned many times, but it is really important to emphasize again.
Talk about the “Why” when you’re recruiting new team members, talk about the “Why” when you tell them how to sign up after sharing a story, talk about the “Why” when they have a pre-service meeting, and talk about the “Why” when you are looking for a team captain.
The “why” has to exist everywhere and be part of every decision they are making on behalf of the team and the church. If your church is clear on your core values, then tie them into your “Why”.
“We value X and that is why we are welcoming guests today… What other ways can we make them feel welcome today?”
Like Jesus, use stories to make an impact, be clear on expectations and continually find ways to drive home the “Why” and you’ll start to see your first impressions team growing.