3 Reasons You Need To STOP Telling Everyone You Need Help!


Picture this:  It’s an average Sunday Morning in church in Anytown, USA.  The kids are bouncing off the walls, the crowd is buzzing, and the energy is palpable! Suddenly, the silence is broken with a booming voice echoing through the halls. It’s the voice of the Children’s Ministry Director.  She’s talking to a group of people whom she sees as possible volunteers.  Then, the words come out – “We need HELP!  We are overwhelmed!  We have so many kids and not enough workers!  HELP US!”

This is perhaps THE most ineffective way to recruit new team members.  There is nothing worse than a Children’s Ministry Director standing up in front of the congregation and saying, “We are so overwhelmed.  We HAVE to have help!  PLEASE HELP US!”

Here are three reasons why that tactic is generally ineffective:

  1. It sends the wrong message to the audience. – The audience doesn’t hear “Things are so hopping and amazing in Kids Ministry” when they hear you say, “We need help!”   They most likely hear, “We don’t have it together.  We are drowning.  We are desperate!”
  2. You are talking them out of helping before you ever even ask. – This type of approach makes the would-be recruit think, “There must be a reason they don’t have enough workers.  Obviously, no one wants to work with them.”
  3. Nobody wants to board a sinking ship. – When you recruit from a “need”, it does not inspire anyone to join your team.  It engenders fear in them and they want no part of it.

NEVER use the phrase, “No one wants to help!” OR “I can’t get anyone to help me!”  That’s a lot like my son, who when he has something he wants to ask me, will often begin his question by saying, “I know you are going to say NO, but…”  Guess what?  I immediately say, “No!”  I figure there must be a reason that he THINKS I am going to say NO.  So, I just beat him to the punch.

Rather than recruit from a NEED, recruit from an opportunity!  Explain to those would-be volunteers that, as a result of what God is doing in your Children’s Ministry, an opportunity has arisen.  Let them know you have been praying about who the person should be to serve in this area.  Tell them you felt led to talk to them because you feel that they have the right gift mix to be able to make a Kingdom difference in the lives of these kids.  Now, THAT is a recruitment strategy straight out of Matthew 9:37-38 —

Jesus said to his disciples,“The harvest is great, but the workers are few.   So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”  

Do you ever catch yourself recruiting from a NEED and “asking for help?”  What is one thing you can do this week to change that?  Leave a comment and join the conversation!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “3 Reasons You Need To STOP Telling Everyone You Need Help!

  1. Great article, Its true when you approach with the “I really need you or I know your not going to want to do this” you come off as a leader with a mindset of defeat and no one wants to be apart of something that smells of defeat. plus it devalues the amazing things that God is doing in the lives of the children.

    We just did a big push for volunteers but we did it by highlighting video testimonies of kids and workers whose lives have been changed. So we celebrated wins from the pulpit and approach new “investors” with prayer but with strategic goal of the importance of investing in the next generation and creating a legacy in the lives of others and we always leet them know they have an out.

    in fact most people we asked found that they are willing to serve and invest but they are waiting for someone to ask. not everyone said yes but we gained 17 new workers by 1 on one prayer and personal invites to be apart of shaping the lives of the children who are the leaders of today and are impacting tomorrow.

    great article Brian keep up the amazing work!

  2. I stopped “recruiting” years ago and replaced it with personal asks. I find that 98 percent of people say no to a public recruiting, while 98 percent of people say yes to a personal ask. They are honored to be thought of.

  3. I’ve made this mistake so many times and it’s easy to get into a pattern of using this technique when you feel overwhelmed. What has made some difference for our small team was team members recruiting, not just the leader. They recruit from a level of excitement about what’s going on. Thanks for posting this. We have to recruit again soon and I needed the reminder since I was starting to feel a bit desperate:)

  4. I love the verse from Matthew that you used. I have always told people that God supplies the workers we need if He wants the work to continue. My job is simply to find who God is calling and make them aware of the chance to serve. I list ministry opportunities in the bulletin and/or on displays sometimes, and some respond to those. But more respond when we ask them. And I always thank people even if they so no, and I ask them to pray that I find the right person that God is calling!