Youth Ministry Help

People Want to Be Asked


How to Really Recruit Volunteers

“If I only had more volunteers.”

It’s probably the biggest complaint I hear from today’s youth workers, either that, or they don’t complain at all, they just keep running youth ministry with only a handful of volunteers and silently wondering, “How come more people don’t help?”

It’s a huge need. And it’s easily solved by one simple practice… the one thing that most youth workers don’t do.


When most of us need volunteers we do one of the following:

  • We make an announcement Sunday morning.
  • We have a booth at the church “ministry fair.”
  • We post the need in the church bulletin.
  • We send out an email doing a broad request for help.

The problem? These asks aren’t true “asks”… they’re marketing. They are raising awareness. They are letting people know about the need (which are all good things). But what you aren’t doing is personally asking the person that you want to recruit.

Do you know someone who would be a perfect small group leader for your middle school ministry? They love God, love kids and actually might be good at listening to them and facilitating conversation?

Have you asked this person to be a small group leader?

Because honestly, 6 out of 10 times when I ask a person like this to be involved, they say yes. In fact, sometimes I even ask, “Well then why didn’t you respond to our announcement on Sunday morning?” And they say, “Because I didn’t know if you wanted me.”

Some people just want to be asked.

And here’s something even more sobering to consider: if you don’t ask, but you just make announcements, then you often get the wrong people volunteering (what I call, “the volunteer from hell”).

So ask! (Here’s a YOUTH MINISTRY HELP article helping you step by step).



Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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