Think about how you’ve been invited to serve in ministry. What approaches worked the best with you? Here are approaches to try, and some to avoid!
What Not To Say
• “You’re the last one on my list.”
People don’t feel valued or inspired when they are begged to jump on board a sinking ship! If nobody else wants to help, why should they?
• “Oh, there’s really nothing to it; it won’t take much time.”
The message that’s conveyed with this approach is that “any dummy” can do it! And it might not be the truth. Don’t minimize time or talent commitments to manipulate women to volunteer.
• “I helped you before.” Or “If you are a good cook, you should help with the food.”
Using the guilt/ought/should approach doesn’t motivate women with the mission or vision of your ministry. It motivates by guilt. And that’s just yucky.
What To Say
• “You have great skills and talent. Would you be interested in using them in our ministry?”
Be personal! A personal invitation and validating the contribution a woman can make to your ministry are the most effective ways to inspire and encourage her to volunteer. An ad in the bulletin just can’t connect with her the way you can!
• “Let me tell you what happened at our last event.”
Share stories! Women will be inspired to volunteer, and to keep volunteering, when you share and celebrate the success of the mission of your ministry. When a woman’s life is changed through Girlfriends—talk about it!
• “We have so much fun together.”
Have fun! Serving in ministry should be fun and fulfilling. The same thing women are looking for from your women’s ministry is what they should experience in your ministry—friendships, faith, and fun! Make serving in your ministry the most fun place to be!
Amy Nappa, former and much-loved the Champion for Women’s Ministry at Group Publishing in Loveland, Colorado