Having worked in a church since I graduated high school it’s easy to become numb to some things. Because of this, I do my very best to stay connected to those who do not work in a church. I want to know what they think about church. I want to get into their heads and figure out why they don’t get involved or why they give to certain campaigns over another.
As a children’s pastor I’m constantly recruiting. There’s not a weekend that goes by where I’m not thinking about who to ask or “court” into volunteering. I recently asked one of my non-committal church-goer friends why he doesn’t volunteer in children’s ministry. He said, “…because I have a life too!” I asked him to expound. What he meant was that he works 50 hours a week, his wife works, his kids are in school and involved in sports, he has hobbies and he does volunteer in church. He just doesn’t volunteer as much as we ask him too.
It got me thinking that we need to be sensitive to people’s schedules. We don’t always see it because we’re so passionate about what we do. We think, “Why don’t they volunteer more? Church is important!” Church is important. They’re not saying that church isn’t important. What they’re saying is that I want to volunteer, but I also want to enjoy my family—I want to enjoy life!
So, don’t take it personal when people say no to volunteering.
Sympathize with people and don’t condemn them if they say no. They could just be saying “no” to right now because they’re in a busy season.
God will show you who to ask and those who should make a deeper commitment.