Recruit people to a dream, not a job description

It’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 group life.  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 Bible study group, you probably were handed a job description.  It listed the things you would be responsible for accomplishing.

Instead of using a job description as the primary recruiting tool, may I suggest that you recruit a new leader to a dream? It is much more inspiring that recruiting them to a job description.

How to recruit to a dream, and not to a job description

Let’s take the example of recruiting a person to serve as an adult group’s record keeper.  Every group needs one.  Someone has to mark people absent or present, and then submit those records to the church.  The job description for this role would say exactly that:  pick up the group’s ministry list, mark people absent or present, and turn it back in to the church office.

But what if you took that same position and recruited someone to a dream instead? Here’s how that would look:  Instead of listing out the tasks of the position (marking people absent or present, turning in the ministry list to the church office, etc), why not talk to a potential leader about your dream for what this position can truly accomplish?  You could help a potential leader see your vision for the role by saying things like the following:

  • How would you like to help me make sure that no one falls through the cracks in this group?  No one likes feeling forgotten by others.
  • By becoming our group’s record keeper, you will help us spot people who start to drift away, and we can take action and perhaps keep an entire family engaged in Bible study.
  • If you become our record keeper, by keeping accurate records each week you’ll help me see patterns in people’s attendance so our group members can minister to them.

Can you hear the difference in recruiting to a job description versus recruiting to a dream or vision for that role?  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 crafted.  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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