Desperation isn't pretty in volunteer requests. If you feel like shutting down the children's ministry if new people don't sign up or closing the bathrooms on Sunday morning if no one helps the facilities team—you probably won't get sign-ups by sharing your frustration.
Instead off desperate pleas, try this……
Use interviews with current volunteers
Far better than desperate pleading are positive testimonies from people who are doing the ministry you want to recruit in. If at all possible, both video them and write-up what they have to say. You can then take this material and put it into a variety of communication channels: show them at church, put them online, email them to interested potential volunteers, and use the material in bulletins, newsletters, and brochures.
Note here: you don't need to be super-serious in your interview, but don't go for funny, stupid, and trivial questions and answers. Many of the jobs at the church might seem small, but they are jobs that can impact how a soul spends eternity. And some of the jobs may not be "fun" to serve in faithfully week after week. Honor the work of volunteers in how you recruit people to serve in the work of ministry.
A few more preliminary tips:
Before you video the interview, give the questions to the volunteers ahead of time so they can think through their answers and not have to pause to think about their answers during the interview. Ask them to write their answers so you can use the written material for writing up the interview for use in online or printed material.
Let people know you will be videoing them and how you will use the material, e.g. will you show it during the church service; post it on your website or YouTube. See the RELATED INFO section at the end of this article for links to whether you need permission and release forms for video-taping.
Here are some possible interview questions:
* What is your name? (first name only)
* What is the ministry you are part of here at ABC church?
* What made you want to be (for example) a nursery volunteer?
* What makes you laugh as a nursery volunteer?
* What is the hardest thing about being a nursery volunteer?
* What have you learned from being a nursery volunteer?
* Why would you encourage others to join you as a nursery volunteer?
*What should someone do next if they want to be part of the team of nursery volunteers?
After you've recorded the interview, distribute it
Once you've done the interview, make sure it gets the widest distribution possible. If you have the needed permissions, put it on your website, YouTube, Vimeo and whatever other channels you have access to. Write it up in total or excerpts from it in articles, blogs, newsletters, and your bulletin. Link to the interview in social media. Put it on your website in an area where people thinking about volunteering in different areas can get access to it.
One person telling another has always been one of the best ways of sharing the good news about Jesus and through interviews with volunteers; it's a great way to share the joy of ministry in the church.
RELATED INFORMATION: below are links to two excellent articles about permissions for video-taping people in the church.
Why do You Need Release Forms?
Link to a Model Release form