If you’ve been in ministry for even a small amount of time you’ve noticed the constant need for volunteers and leaders. Resources of all kinds are important, but one of the most imperative resources is leaders. There are seasons where you may find yourself in need of leaders for various ministries. This can be so stressful. There seems to be more ministry to be done than any one person can do. This is especially felt when you are short on volunteers and leaders.  

What solutions are available when we’re faced with the problem of not enough leaders and volunteers in our ministries?  

Here are seven questions to consider. 

  1. Have we prayed for new leaders?

Whenever I lost something growing up, I’d ask my mom if she’d seen what I was looking for. If she had seen it, she would tell me where it was, as only moms can do. If she didn’t know where it was, she would ask, “have you prayed about it?” I used to hate that question. Then I would pray. Many times, I’d find the lost item. 

“Have we prayed about it?”. Jesus said to pray for laborers. This is a good place to start. 

  1. Do we really need new leaders?

Sometimes the need for leaders or volunteers can point to the fact that ministry needs to be evaluated. Is this ministry or program mission critical? Is this ministry or program working? Are we using rotation schedules or another method that demands a quantity of volunteers at a lower commitment level? Could we reorganize to better meet needs with fewer leaders? 

  1. Are leader roles clearly defined?

What skills are needed? What qualifications are required? Do not leave job descriptions in your head. Get descriptions clearly defined on paper. Externalize your thinking. You may even have a volunteer overqualified where they are currently serving and find it to be more resourceful to move them to a new ministry and fill their role with a different volunteer. Ask yourself, Is everyone on the right seat on the bus? 

  1. Do we need to increase our recruitment?

Some people in your ministry are not serving because no one has asked them to serve. No one has personally invested in them to find out what they are good at, and how they could be developed. Sometimes we assume people do not want to serve because we wouldn’t want to do it either. Remember, what is drudgery to you may be a thrill for someone else. Personal one-on-one recruitment tends to beat announcements and pleas made from the platform. Go ahead! Ask! They may say yes. 

  1. Do we need to increase our training opportunities?

Training opportunities happen every week when ministry is being executed. Formal and informal training is critical for the longevity of any ministry. Invite people to environments that will pique their interests for a particular ministry and give them enough insight into the vision for the ministry that recruitment becomes easier. 

  1. Do we need to increase our leadership candidate pool through discipleship?

Spiritually mature people reproduce and minister. Spiritually immature people do not. Sometimes there are not enough leaders because people are not being discipled into enough spiritual maturity to want to minister. What grows people more than getting them into God’s Word? When we help people read and obey their Bible, and train them to serve the Lord, they will grow. When they grow, they mature. As they mature, they tend to reproduce and serve. 

  1. Do we need to increase our discipleship candidate pool through evangelism?

You cannot disciple a lost person. You can only evangelize them. Sometimes there is no one to disciple because no one has been reached. You can’t keep training the same people repeatedly. We reach new people so we can teach them. We teach them so we can send them out to minister. 

This process must never stop! Reach people. Help them mature through “teaching them to observe” all that Christ commanded. As they mature, recruit them for ministry. Train them. How? First, they watch. Then they help us. Then we watch them. Then we cheer them on! 

Again, the process must never stop! What we do is too important!