“If you build it, they will come.” That’s great for drawing in baseball fans but not so good for recruiting volunteers.
Just because you have a sound booth everyone can see doesn’t mean volunteers are going to run up and ask to join the team.
Let’s say a man named Joe thinks he’d like to work on the a/v team. Why wouldn’t he ask to join? Try these totally acceptable reasons;
2. Unsure of time requirements.
3. Lacks experience.
4. Assumes you don’t need another volunteer
Right now, there is someone in your congregation who is using one of these excuses not to talk to you.
The truth of the matter is recruiting volunteers works through advertising. There are several avenues you can follow for recruiting volunteers onto your team.
1. Place an ad in the church’s monthly / weekly newsletter
“Interested in joining an awesome team of audio geeks? Get involved with the audio ministry here at [insert church name]. We will train you! In a short period of time, you could be working in the sound booth.”
“Contact [name] via email [insert address], phone [insert number] or drop by the sound booth after a service for more information.”
2. Place an in the weekly church bulletin
“Want the best seat on Sunday mornings? Get involved with the audio ministry here at [insert church name]. We will train you! In a short period of time, you could be working in the sound booth.”
“Contact [name] via email [insert address] , phone [insert number] or drop by the sound booth after a service for more information.”
3. Make an announcement from the stage during the service during an “announcement / news” portion of the service
“We are growing the audio team and I know that in this congregation there is at least one of you who would love to be part of our great group of audio geeks.”
“What’s that you say? Oh, that’s not a problem, we will train you how to run the equipment and be the best sound tech you can be. Drop by the sound booth after the service for more information. There is also information in today’s bulletin.”
4. Make a video!
I’ve leaving this one up to your imagination. It could be as simple as a slide show with music or a comical video of your team running around like the Keystone Cops.
Heading up a team of any sort means watching out for burnout in your volunteers and dealing with natural attrition. Recruiting volunteers once a year or as often as needed is a great way to keep your team at the right size.
The Rest Of The Process
Of course, working as a volunteer for the church audio team is more than just showing up and sitting down. Volunteers must be surveyed, and trained in church rules and procedures.
I’ve created three documents which are zipped into one folder. You can download them here.
1. Volunteer Sign-up Sheet
This can be passed around or posted on your volunteer table or bulletin board.
2. Volunteer Application
Once you meet with potential volunteers, have them fill out this simple form so you get their important information as well as an understand of their level of experience.
3. New Member Checklist
All your new volunteers need to understand procedures and protocol. This checklist makes sure they know everything you know by heart - including the location of the fire extinguisher!
How have you recruited volunteers? What have you learned about volunteers? Feel free to let me know in the comments below!
Ready to learn and laugh? Chris Huff writes about the world of church audio at Behind The Mixer. He covers everything from audio fundamentals to dealing with musicians. He can even tell you the signs the sound guy is having a mental breakdown.