If you’re planning to expand your team of ministry leaders this fall, or need to replace those who stepped down over the summer, it may seem like searching for a needle in a haystack.
The “general announcement” recruitment technique discounts the gifts God gives to people. The invitation process begins by identifying those who are gifted candidates to consider for involvement. So the question becomes: who are the people you need to be asking? In his book, Transforming Your Church with Ministry Teams, E. Stanley Ott tells us to consider these five qualities when selecting people to serve:
Faith – Do they have a heart for God? Spiritual maturity is not always a quantitative aspect as much as it’s a growth issue. They may be new believers or life-long disciples but the key issue is their love for the Lord. Do they demonstrate a spirit that is open to God’s leading in their life? People of faith are open to God’s calling and will seriously consider a ministry invitation.
Love – Do they have a heart for people? When we have the same compassion for others, as God does for us, we are open to opportunities to serve. We’re not talking “people persons” here-—but rather a genuine love and concern for others which motivates us to serve. And since small group leaders serve the people in their group, this quality can be a real reflection of biblical community.
Willingness to Learn – Do they have a teachable spirit? My son hated to practice piano when he was taking lessons. We discovered his true passion was guitar. His interest in guitar made practice sessions more enjoyable due to his willingness to learn. Find people who are open to learning new skills and approaches in ministry because it matches their passion or felt need.
Availability – Do they have the time? We all know that if you want something done, you ask someone who’s already busy. They’ve proven their track record and are usually willing to take on one more project. But that’s also the fastest way to burn out a good servant. Look for people who are not currently serving, or even being asked to serve, so no one is left out or ignored.
Humility – Do they have a humble spirit? It has been said there is no “I” in team. People with humility understand that the Body of Christ works together in harmony with each person doing their part. No one part is better than the others-—they’re all important and necessary to achieve success. Find someone with a humble spirit and you’ll find a great team player.
It’s important to remember that we can teach leadership skills but we can’t always teach the qualities necessary for someone to become a great leader. Look for these qualities as the basic ingredients of a person molded for service. God often uses the unqualified— to do great things.