Recruit people to a dream, not a job description

enlistIt’s one of the biggest challenges that a Sunday School or small group leader faces:  how to recruit new leaders into important ministry roles within the group.  Whether you like it or not, recruiting people is a necessary part of providing Sunday School classes or small groups.  If you are a group leader, you don’t want to be a “Lone Ranger”…that’s not even biblical.  So how can you recruit people to leadership roles the right way?

I have learned that people respond well when you recruit them to a dream, not to a job description!  If you’ve ever been asked to teach or provide leadership in a Sunday School class or small group, you probably were presented with a job description.  It listed the responsibilities you would have as a group leader.  It helped you to know exactly what was expected of you.  Ho hum.

Instead of using a job description as the primary recruiting tool, may I suggest that you lay it aside temporarily (yes, you’ll need it later)?  Recruiting a new leader to a dream is much more inspiring that recruiting them to a job description.

Let’s take the example of recruiting a person to serve as an adult class secretary.  Every class has one, right?  Someone to take the role, mark people absent or present, and then turn in those records to the church office.  The job description for this role would say exactly that:  take the role, mark people absent or present, and turn in records to the church office.  I got it.  I’m doing clerical work.

But what if you took that same open position and recruited someone to a dream instead? Here’s how that would look.  Instead of listing out the tasks of the position (taking role, marking people absent, turning in records), why not talk to a potential leader about your dream for what this important position can accomplish for the Kingdom of God?  You might say things like:

  • How would you like to help make sure that no one falls through the cracks in this class?  No one likes feeling forgotten by others.
  • By becoming our group’s secretary, you will help us spot people who start to drift away, and we can take action and perhaps keep an entire family in Bible study.
  • If you become our class secretary, by simply keeping accurate records you’ll help me see patterns in people’s attendance so our class members can minister to them
  • As our group’s secretary, if you keep accurate records you’ll help our church leaders know how much curriculum to order for us so that the church doesn’t waste its money.  The money that is saved can be used to fund other important ministries.

Can you hear the difference?  Once a person understands your dream for what the position can do to help the group, then you can pull out the job description you’ve worked so hard to craft.  People need to know what you expect of them, but not before they buy into the dream you have for the position you’re seeking to fill.

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