Many churches I know struggle with finding workers. It seems that no matter how hard they try, they can’t find all the workers they need. If that describes your church, think about looking in these places for workers:
- Young people. Students can’t serve in every position, but they can assist in many positions. Find a student who’s faithful, and figure out how to use him or her in some area. You might be surprised how much an appreciated young person will do.
- Pew sitters. I’m fairly certain that somebody who sits in your church every Sunday really does want to do something for God. Maybe he doesn’t know what the needs are, or perhaps she has never been asked to serve. Forget the pulpit and bulletin announcements, though–go and ask face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball, like Jesus did.
- A new members’ class. I’m assuming, of course, that your church is actually getting new members and that you have a membership class. If so, don’t let new members out of the class without determining where they might serve. Enlist them while they’re most interested in getting invested.
- “Retired” workers. If you have older folks who’ve “retired” from church service, don’t let them off the hook that easily. Challenge them to do something, like pray for laborers, write notes to guests, serve as a greeter, or begin an “adopt a grandchild” ministry that connects senior adults with new families in the church.
- Faithful guests. If some of your attenders are simply attending, talk with them directly. Show them the value of joining the church and using their gifts for God’s glory. Convince them they’re needed – and then put them to work in appropriate places.
- Local colleges or universities. Check with a local collegiate campus ministry, and see if any of their students are interested in serving in a church. Faithful college students can change the atmosphere of a church.
- Seminaries. I believe strongly in on-campus theological education, but I also believe in online training—especially when students can get strong mentoring and ministry experience at the feet of a good pastor. Develop an internship that helps them earn academic credit, and the students will find the opportunity even more enticing.
- Members of other churches. I’m sure this one’s a surprise, but here’s my point: some pastors (particularly young ones) are kingdom-minded enough that they’re willing to share workers for a while to help sister churches get on their feet. If you have particular needs, prayerfully ask another pastor to “send out” a worker or two for a while. You won’t know until you ask if God might have already moved on that pastor’s heart.
- On your knees. Actually, all I’m saying here is that we need to pray for laborers just as Jesus told us to do (Luke 10:1-2). In fact, I suspect we won’t find the workers we need apart from prayer.
I believe that God will provide the workers we need. Sometimes, we just have to look with more intentionally and more faith — and more prayer.