This month’s tech question comes from Lori P. from Goldsboro, NC, who asks, ” Do you have advice on recruiting new tech team members?” I do, and I know how difficult it can be for ministry leaders to find new volunteers. It’s a necessary part of every tech director’s skill set, yet finding volunteers at the point when you need them is a stressful set up. After all, volunteers are rarely plug-and-play. They need training—which is why the unexpected vacancies produce so much stress for church tech teams.
Creating regular systems for recruiting that happen on an ongoing basis, moves you from scrambling to meet a need to producing a pipeline of volunteers. It’s an effective way to build a sustainable volunteer base. I will share a few successful ways to find your next volunteers.
Personally Recruit – One of the most effective ways that we’ve seen over and over is personally asking new people to get involved. As a church community member, I believe, “relationships for the win!” This couldn’t be more true. As you continue to build relationships with those in your church, you will discover people with similar strengths, plus others will be more interested in serving with you.
Culture – Build “serving” into your church culture to the point that it’s expected that everyone helps build a place where life change happens. This takes time and should flow from your pastoral leadership down. Celebrate your volunteers. Thank them publicly. Encourage others to be part of the mission of your church and reach others for Christ.
Growth Track – A common method to acquire new volunteers is to include it in the “onboarding” process of new members at your church. During this process, those who may be new at the church take part in a “track” that consists of a series of classes introducing them to the church history, beliefs and values, leading them through a funnel to join a team based on their gifts. Most churches have an onboarding process that helps new members connect into ministries they are interested in. While technical arts is probably already a check box on the new member interest card, there is an opportunity to take it a step further. What if part of the onboarding process was an introduction to the technical arts ministry? After all, it’s already highly visible on a Sunday morning. Having tech arts own a section of the onboarding education helps people see what it takes to create a Sunday morning in a more tangible way than a PowerPoint slide can deliver.
Ministry Fair – You would be surprised how many people aren’t aware of how many volunteer opportunities are available in your church. Have an event that shares all of the opportunities and positions that are available. A great way to do this is having tables in the lobby after service one Sunday.
Website – Having an easy way to show what areas of opportunities are available and a way to sign up on your website is an extremely easy way to capture information for those who may be interested.
Email – After adding the information to your website, you can use emails to point people to that section of your website. A great idea is to use this near the end of your guest follow up automation process.
Church Tech Swag – Why not be the coolest team in your church with swag? Get your team t-shirts that make them proud to serve. It helps promote your team as well as grabs the interest of others who want the cool swag.
Internships – Reach out to local colleges or other school programs where students may need internships. This is a great way to find temporary help or even help for a few years. By creating internships, you get to draw in people who aren’t even connected to your church yet. And, you can specialize beyond theatre and broadcast, creating internships for film, stage management, or graphic design. It’s worth reaching out to your local university to find out what types of internships would benefit their students.
Get the high school kids involved – Many church technical leaders had their interest sparked in technical ministry through experience they gained in high school. Designing youth spaces with oversized booths so there is the ability to shadow, in addition to creating opportunities for youth to run their own tech, builds skills and interest. For many, it ignites a passion that lasts their whole lives.
Pre-Service Slides – A creative announcement slide is one of the easiest ways to spark interest in your audience to join a team.
Host a quarterly check-it-out lunch – People with an interest in technical arts can often be intimidated by a well-established crew. When you are the new kid on the block, it can feel that everyone has more training than you do. Even people who work in production may feel that their skills won’t be a match. Setting up a regular, convenient, low-key event like a lunch can help you meet those who are interested without the intimidation factor.
Prayer – As cliche as it may sound, pray about it. Ask God to inspire you with new ways to acquire more volunteers for your team and ask Him to reveal to you people that would be good to get involved.