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Leader's Insight: Recruiting Without Guilt

How to ask busy people to volunteer for ministry.

Three years ago, I realized our church had a problem, so I invited the senior staff to join me in a conference room. "Here's the new reality as I see it," I said, standing in front of a flip chart. I drew a line ascending from left to right. "This line I'll call spiritual opportunity. Never in the history of Willow Creek have we known an era of greater spiritual opportunity."

Then I drew another line from the same starting point, but level from left to right. "This, however, is our resource line. It's flatter than it's been in a decade."

"Resources have never been this tight," I admitted. "We have to figure out how to minister in a way that brings God glory even in this new reality."

Soon our leadership team found itself trying to figure out how to live out the challenge of Ephesians 4:11-12 in our current reality, by doubling our volunteer team. I asked a couple staff members what they would do to double volunteer numbers in their particular sub-ministries. Their response? Silence.

Then I ...

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