Five-Minute Mentoring: Making the Ask | Season 5: Episode 4

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Ready to ask a potential volunteer to join your Youth Ministry or Children’s Ministry?

In this episode, Brian uncovers how to successfully connect with potential volunteers, from choosing the ideal setting for your conversation to effectively communicating your ministry’s vision. The way you ask may just make or break whether the person will say yes to joining your ministry team.

This episode will give you a clear understanding of the BEST way to ask a potential volunteer to serve in your ministry.

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Show Transcript

Brian Lawson: 0:00

Youth Ministry Institute Original Podcast.

Welcome to the Making Sense Ministry podcast, the podcast designed to help you lead well in your ministry, transform lives and impact generations. I’m Brian Lawson here with another 5-Minute Mentoring episode.

Have you ever stood up in front of your church and made an all-call for volunteers? Perhaps it sounded something like this we need you. Our young people need you. Seriously, we’re desperate.

The truth is that wide-sweeping announcements about volunteers that you need rarely work, and if they do work, it’s not always the type of volunteers we truly hope to have on our team. This is why the personal ask is the most effective way to recruit an individual to volunteer in your ministry. So how do you ask? Believe it or not? There’s an actual strategy that will work in your ask.

First, begin by following the steps we shared in previous episodes. Observe and make a list of people you’d like to recruit. Then ask for a time to speak with them. The best place is over coffee or lunch. Somewhere off campus often feels more personal. During your time together, begin by asking about their life. Ask about their faith, story how they got to the church, about their family. Show genuine interest in them as a person. This will communicate later that you care about them above and beyond what they can do for the ministry and, when it feels appropriate, move into your ask. Step one is to tell them that their name has been on your list or your whiteboard or a sticky note on your desk for some time, and so you’ve wanted to share some information with them.

Next, begin sharing with them the vision of your ministry, not just the mission statement. Yes, you share that, but not just that. But you also want to share all the good that has been happening and can and will happen. Share what you love and what your volunteers love. You want them to know the why, to see the good and to catch a glimpse of the beauty that is coming in the ministry. You are building excitement here. Now circle back to their name on your whiteboard. Share with them specific gifts, talents or personality traits that have led you to put their name on the list. You want to show them that you truly have been noticing them and you see potential in them. And if any young person has ever had a positive thing to say about that adult maybe because you asked a young person about their opinion then share that with the potential volunteer, knowing that a young person has a positive perspective on this potential volunteer will only build their confidence. Next, begin by marrying their gifts and where the ministry is going. Paint a picture for them about how you see them fitting in well and contributing in a meaningful way into the ministry’s future. And then here comes the scary part Make the direct ask.

Sarah, you are such a great listener and it is clear that you empathize with those you are listening to. Our young people need adults just like you who are willing to notice them and to really hear them. You do that so well. I would just love for you to be on our team. Would you consider joining our youth ministry team or kids ministry team? Now be ready, because after you have made the ask, more than likely they’re going to start to doubt their gifts or abilities. They may have questions that they want to answer or they may ask. They may even express a fear of young people. So be ready to reaffirm the gifts you see in them, to share with them that many people are fearful at first, but often that they discover volunteering with young people becomes one of the most meaningful things they do each week. You want to empathize with their fears or concerns, while also working to help them build confidence in themselves, to see a possible future of themselves volunteering in your ministry. As your conversation comes to a close, hopefully they’ve jumped on board and they’re ready to go and you’re excited and they’re excited. But more often than not, you’ll need to have a follow-up conversation with them. So in a day or a few days, reach out to them again, preferably not via text message. Begin we want this to be personal, but in person or over the phone even, no matter what their answer is, all of them are willing to be willing to be. No matter what their answer is, always reaffirm and encourage them. You are building them up as a person, as a child of God and as a potential volunteer. So, no matter their answer, make sure they walk away from their time with you feeling encouraged. This is really important and why you ask. Well, we’ll get to that in another episode soon. For today, that’s all I have for you. I hope you have enjoyed this video. If you did, please leave a comment. I’ll see you in the next video.

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