ZonesRecruiting › Are You a Cruise Ship or a Dinghy?

Are You a Cruise Ship or a Dinghy?

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Author/Source: Todd Mckeever

Topic: Recruiting, Volunteers

Find out if your ministry is a Dinghy or a Cruise Ship based on your recruiting practices!

It never changes. The success of your ministry to kids (outside of anything supernatural that God would so choose to do) greatly depends on the strength of your team. So take the time to build the right team for yourself. Successful people want to be part of something that is successful, something that is bigger than themselves and that is fun to be part of.

Too often, I see children’s ministries that float around like a Dinghy being pulled by every new fad or loud complainer. They don’t have the team built to stand up against the waves or to sail in the big sea, so they stay attached to anything and everything they can just to survive. They are able to turn quickly, though, and not lose any passengers since they have built their ministry to only handle a couple volunteers anyway, and those volunteers help out of friendship not because they are driven by the leader. They usually try to recruit through the bulletin, with no real lasting results, but it is easier and makes them feel good, like they are doing their job of recruiting. Then if they happen to land someone, they put them to work with no real thought and often find out later that it was a wrong fit. They feel like they are stuck together in this already small dinghy going nowhere.

Then I see those children’s ministries that are like cruise ships sailing all over the seas. They handle the waves as they come, and the people are not really feeling the waves but having fun. They chart courses that people want to follow. They do not compromise in their hiring process, because they understand the end result is much too important. The people working the cruise ship enjoy their job and purposely pursued getting hired.

Here are some quick signs of being part of a Dinghy ministry:


  1. You continue to place ads in the bulletin that use the word “need.”

  2. You guilt people into serving.

  3. You are using new volunteers for multiple tasks and burning them out to the point that they don’t want to be part of any ministry again.

  4. You are more concerned about filling holes than helping people find their sweet spot in ministry.

  5. The only time you connect with parents is when you are asking them to serve.

  6. As you walk down the hall, people run away because you are the only one who recruits for new volunteers. When they see you, that's usually what it means.

  7. You throw a new volunteer into a classroom for the first time with forty 2-3 year olds…and no one else to help them.

  8. You ask the Pastor to beg for volunteers for you from the pulpit.

Some possible signs of being part of a cruise ship:

  1. People are joining your team because a friend who loves serving invited them. (This means other people beside you, the leader, are recruiting!)
  2. People are joining your team because they see an opportunity to make an impact with their lives in something that is bigger than themselves.
  3. Volunteers are listened to and then placed in positions that line up with their passions and gifts. It is more about the volunteer than the position to fill. (Care more for volunteers than empty positions)
  4. You have parties with the volunteer team with no “training” involved.
  5. There are lots of smiles and laughter.
  6. Volunteers go home energized and excited about serving.
  7. Volunteers clearly understand the mission of the ministry and the part they play in fulfilling that mission.
  8. Volunteers regularly share stories of how serving has helped them to grow in their faith and to become more of who God is calling them to be.

I can tell you that my team has not arrived yet, but we refuse to be a Dinghy. A first step for us in achieving more than Dinghy status is to stop sending out S.O.S. signals. Instead, we are determined to live out as many of the above criteria and make sure we are inviting people to join us for the experience of a lifetime and to come cruise with us as we sail with the winds of momentum!


This post is located in the following zone(s): AdministrationArticlesRecruiting

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