Seven ways we fail to recruit for ministry


Over the next two blogs, we want to explore the common errors people make as they recruit people for ministry, both in the people they do select and the people they don’t.

There are two equal and opposite mistakes we can make as we recruit apprentices:

To miss people we should have guided into an apprenticeship
To select people we shouldn’t have asked to become apprentices.
These mistakes are in tension, and it’s not always easy to avoid them. Identifying potential apprentices is an art, not a science. We’re driven to pray, seek wise advice and learn from our mistakes.

Here are seven reasons why we could overlook people and fail to recruit suitable ministry apprentices:

1.    We tend to only recruit people like us, or those who like us and respond to us. We choose those with whom we can work, who make us feel comfortable. And worse, we think only our type of person can reach and lead others, forgetting that there is a diversity of personalities who should be ministers of the gospel.

2.    We miss the maverick, the revolutionary who is harder to train but might evangelise nations.

3.    We miss the creative and intuitive person, who often drops the administrative ball but will reach different people in new ways.

4.    We recruit for a traditional ministry role rather than starting with the person and pondering what they could contribute in ministry. What is special about this person and who could they reach with the gospel?

5.    We don’t let people out of the box in which we have mentally placed them. People grow beyond our early impressions and these impressions are sometimes wrong.

6.    We wait too long to recruit and they choose other life directions.

7.    We don’t give people enough responsibility in order to see their gifts. We do so much ourselves that we stifle others.