If your church is like most churches, you need more workers—and, you have attenders who come every Sunday without volunteering to do anything. Here are some reasons that happens, followed by a link to suggestions for addressing the problem.
- Churches allow them to sit. If the church has no clearly stated expectations, and if the church has no intentional strategy to move people into ministry, they shouldn’t be surprised when people just sit.
- They’ve never been challenged one-on-one to get involved. Pulpit and bulletin announcements simply don’t work when recruiting workers. Do what Jesus did – call out people personally, clearly, passionately.
- They’re worn out. Some folks are just plain tired from previous service, whether in your church or another. They just need a break, at least for a while.
- They don’t see the need. From the pew, it might be that all they see is a church that seems to be functioning quite well. Nobody talks about needs, and nothing evidently shows a need. Thus, sitting might make sense.
- They’re skeptical about support. Past experience concerns them. They might want to serve, but they’re not convinced they’ll get the training they need and want. They fear they’ll be thrown into the battle alone.
- They’re unbelievers. Let’s just be honest. Some folks don’t serve because they really don’t know the Lord – even though they themselves haven’t recognized that truth yet.
- They’re genuinely busy otherwise. Some folks really are busy, even with good activities. Putting something else on their plate seems almost impossible. Not getting involved makes more sense to them than doing God’s work with half effort.
- They have sin in their life. Few people who are living in sin are passionately open to using their gifts in God’s work. Hiding in anonymity seems the better option.
- They’ve never read or heard (or can’t remember) 1 Corinthians 12. I’ve been surprised how often folks want to get involved more after we simply explain the “body” concepts of 1 Corinthians 12 – and give them some means to determine their spiritual giftedness and opportunities in the body.
- Nobody’s really been praying for laborers. Jesus told workers in the harvest to pray for more workers (Luke 10:1-2). When our churches don’t consistently, intentionally, and strategically pray that way, we shouldn’t expect more workers to come forth.
Now, check out “10 Strategies for Recruiting Church Volunteers” for ideas to address this problem.