be different


When it comes to recruiting your last few volunteers, don’t get desperate, get creative. I hope these ideas will help.





Oh, the scent of Trapper Keepers and #2 pencils are in the air…

And “Back To School” often times means youth ministers are scrambling around town pleading with parents of teenagers to fill those last few vacant volunteer spots.

3 Great Ideas To Find Those Last few Volunteers that are Excited to Serve

1) Find a “Honey Hole”– I’m from Tennessee, and out here we love to fish. The difference between coming home with a bunch of worms or a bucket full of fish is: location, location, location. When we find a great fishing spot we call it our “honey hole”. There is a “honey hole” in every church that many youth ministers miss.

This week invite someone else to run your weekly programming and you go to the class, service, or small group where the parents are meeting. These are the best candidates for volunteers. If you mingle with purpose before and after their meeting you might just pick up a few great volunteers.

2) The Best Nominating Committee Ever– The next time your students meet together ask them to hold an election. Give them the chance to nominate the one adult in the church that they love and respect who is not currently volunteering with the student ministry.

Once they turn in those names, contact those folks and say, “Our students took a vote and elected you as a Most Wanted Volunteer”. Give the adult an easy opportunity to jump onto the volunteer team if they would like to.

Also, give that adult an easy out by saying, “You might not be able to volunteer at this time, but I at least wanted you to know that our teenagers love and respect you very much.”

3) Parents recruiting Parents– Everyone wants to be personally invited to volunteer. You can only personally invite so many people. Start an initiative with your current volunteers asking them all to invite one volunteer to join the team.

You can say something like this to your volunteers, “You know best the kind of person we are looking for that fits our volunteer team. Would you be willing to think of one other adult that would be a great fit and invite them to join us?”

Do you have a great tip for recruiting great volunteers? I am creating a list that I want to share with other youth ministers. You can share it with me by leaving a comment on this post or send an email to me at [email protected]

Shellie Hochstetler encourages parents of teenagers daily at and She has survived raising 4 teenagers and in her own words, “they are extremely awesome”. She describes parenting as “terrifying but fulfilling, lonely while extremely loud, and completely exhausting while in the same breathe exhilarating!” Shellie lives in her dream home in Nashville, TN with her husband, kids, a horse, and some chickens.