Recruiting Volunteers Priniciple #8 – No Cold Calling

Principle #8 – No Cold Calling   We do not act like telemarketers trying to fill roles in the church.  The more you cold call, the less trust you have with those you recruit.

Rotary phoneI think my first year or two of ministry I tried recruiting for people by phoning through the whole directory.  I talked to a lot of nice people.  A lot of nice people wondered why I thought they would be useful in the infant nursery.  I was left with a lot of holes in my nursery schedule.  Epic. Failure.    The conversations were valuable, but as a recruiting technique very inefficient.

Whether emails, bulletin inserts, phone calls, or even standing up front in the sanctuary before the congregation – cold calling people is one of the most ineffective tools we can use.  Does it have a place?  In my opinion, as an effective use of time. No.   I will never phone someone or contact someone and ask them to fill a roll if I do not know who they are and have a sense of where they can fit into ministry.  Recruiting is most effectively done through relationships.

If your ministry position is so important to fill, we have to ask then who is important enough to fill it.  Who has the right skills?  Who has the right personality?   When you cold call and ask for anyone to fill a position you’re communicating the position is not important enough to find the right person for it.  When you have relationships with people you begin to realize how God has shaped them for ministry, and you can identify people who can fit into ministries, or perhaps more accurately, how ministries can be shaped by the people who can serve.   That approach is a long way from cold calling individuals.