So, now you’ve gathered a few people, what in the world are you going to say?
1a. Start by telling them a little about you and how you got here. Why are you involved in this ministry right now? What are you most excited about? Keep this short—just a minute or so—sticking to the high points. This is their chance to get to know you better, since you’re probably a blur of motion on Sundays.
1b. Then, ask them to share a few highlights of their own story—how did they get here? To this area, to this church. If they have kids, what do they hope they gain from being a part of your ministry? Pay close attention as they talk. Don’t think ahead to what you want to say next. Listen for clues as they share. What’s in their background? What are they passionate about?
 
2a. Now we’re going to transition to talking about your vision for the ministry. If a reporter came to interview you a year from now, what would you hope they see then? What do you want to be known for? Think of a few key words like creative, safe, engaging, organized, etc. And feel free to bring along some visuals—pieces of the curriculum you use that you’re excited about or pictures of favorite places in your environment. You can sketch on a napkin! But dream big. This dream has to be bigger than you or any one person can pull off alone.
2b. After you’ve shared your big picture vision and they know your heart, you’re going to ask where they see themselves fitting best. What part of this dream could they get excited about? Where could they plug in and help? For some people, they lean toward using skills and experience they already have. Others might leap at the chance to try something new like singing or acting. You can also ask if there’s anything you forgot—what’s missing in your plan? Sometimes people see things they could help with that you didn’t even mention or realize would be needed—yet.
 
3a. Talk about next steps. Based on their response, what do they need to be able to get started? To shadow or follow a veteran to see how it works? Quick training by you? A tour of the space? Curriculum to look over? Et cetera. Together, agree on when this will happen—put it on the calendar so you have a plan in place before you all leave.
3b. Close on the benefits. Finish with what you believe can happen in their lives and the lives of kids and families in your church because they become part of this team. Pray and thank God for them by name, being specific about what encouraged you and what you’re excited about for the future. Thank them for their time!
Depending on the group’s dynamics, this could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Warning: You may lose your voice and your smile muscles may be sore, but again, it’s much better than spending the majority of your time cold-calling people, begging them to serve, usually leaving a message and rarely hearing back. Right?
This plan has been proven to work, by myself and others I’ve coached, and has a high success rate of new recruits. In fact, many of these new recruits went out and told others, recruiting even more people all on their own, just by sharing what I’d told them and naturally spreading excitement.
What did I leave out? What other tips or talking points do you find most helpful when gearing up for a new year and trying to recruit a bunch of new leaders? Comment below.