Church A/V teams, tech teams, praise and worship, and even the Sunday school program, all need volunteers. While most recruitment techniques involve announcements from the pulpit or setting-up a table in the back of the church, the most effective means of garnering help is through one-on-one relationships.
It’s far more effective for someone on the church tech team to invite someone they know from their Bible study to join, than it is for the Pastor to announce to the congregation that if anyone is interested in helping out the church tech team, to talk with church tech team leader.
While this is an effective way to recruit, most of us may have a hard time thinking of whom to ask.
Perhaps we need to look a little closer?
Are Unicorns Real?
Alanna talks about a driver that worked for a mission she was working for. He was quite the ‘Jack of All Trades,’ as he could jumpstart a car without cables, get visas in record time, and throw on a suit “and represent the project in coordination meetings.”
To add to his seemingly mythical talents, he could also predict the weather in this most bizarrely accurate way. Did have unicorn horn dust?
“He always knew what kind of clothes we’d need the next day, if rain or snow or sleet was coming. Approximate temperature, cloud cover, the works. It was uncanny. He was almost always right.”
If he had a different job title, would it have been just as amazing? Alanna Shaikh goes on to write:
“One day, after discovering we were due for snow, I asked Dima what his secret was. Had he grown up on a farm? Did he have rheumatism? He grinned and told me. Yahoo Weather. He checked it every night so he could help the office make plans; he considered it to be part of his job as a driver.”
He also had computer skills.
Was this really such a surprise? Why were any of his talents seemingly mythical? Was it because he was thought of as “just a driver” and anything beyond driving seemed amazing?
Unboxing Church Volunteers
It is easy to put people into boxes and seal them shut.
- He is too young.
- She is a woman.
- They work at Walmart.
- He does not have a smartphone.
- She is a busy mother.
- They do not know the language well enough.
Placing people in categories can go both ways, too.
- He works in the sound booth.
- She is a graphic designer.
- They teach at the Bible College.
- He has the latest iPhone.
- She is unmarried.
While these can be identifiers of aptitude, they can also be misleading. Neither one of these lists are determining factors of one’s ability to do or learn anything; nor is it an aptitude for anyone’s commitment or ability to serve. Alanna summarizes it well:
“Dima was our driver. Orientalizing him didn’t do much harm. But what if he’d been a mom in a community we worked with? A doctor we were training? What damage would we have done by underestimating his computer skills?”
Church teams take note:
There are a multitude of hidden gems, volunteers with talents, sitting in Sunday morning services in churches all over the world.
Unicorns are mythical, awesome church volunteer team members are not. They are just waiting for you to take them out of their box and ask them for help.