The most common complaint I hear from youth workers is about how difficult it is to find volunteers. I know it because I’ve been there.

But not anymore.

Today, I’m going to share the simple, easy, and effective way that you can find your next great volunteer, and if you start today, you can probably have that person in place by next week.

But first a disclaimer:

There’s no good way to recruit a dozen volunteers at once. Cattle herding from the pulpit won’t work and you can’t build an entire volunteer team in a week. You recruit great volunteers the same way college coaches recruit great players: One at a time.

So, here’s your seven day blueprint to finding your next great volunteer:


Write a one-paragraph job description for the volunteer position you’re trying to fill. Include the responsibilities the volunteer will have and the strengths you’d like to see in the person.


Email your current volunteers as well as your church staff. Tell them you’re looking for a volunteer and include the one paragraph job description. Ask everyone to send you the names of the two people they know who best fit that description.


Make a list of all the names you get back. Names that appear multiple times go at the top of the list.


Start calling people, starting at the top of your list. Now you’re armed with the best recruiting pitch in the known universe: Other people have recommended them because they believe there’s a good fit there.

Say something like this:

“Hi Todd. I wanted to let you know I’m looking for a new youth ministry volunteer. Sandy, Erin, Brock, and Tony all recommended you and you’re the very first person I decided to call. Can we meet in the next day or two to talk about the role and why I think you’d be perfect at it?”


Meet with the person. Spend the bulk of your time casting vision for the position and talk about why you think this person is exactly the right person for the position. Give them time to ask questions. Then ask them to be your next great volunteer.

Wait, will this really work?

It’s been my experience that when you recruit volunteers this way, you’ll get an enthusiastic yes more often than not. Occasionally, there are legitimate reasons that a person will say no. In that case, no need to worry. Go back to your list and start with the next highest name.

You’ll have that volunteer in place in no time.

Liked this blog post? You’ll also like this one – Why Teenagers Ignore You and What to do About It

Aaron HelmanAaron Helman is on a mission to end youth worker burnout by providing the training and resources that you haven’t been taught… until now.

Smarter Youth Ministry exists to help you learn how to manage their time and resources better so that you can do more ministry with less frustration. All of that having been said, you most likely know him as the creator of “Lamentation or Taylor Swift Lyric.”



Leave a Comment