7 Keys To Recruiting Successful Volunteers

One church shares it's values that helped them developed a remarkable team of volunteers

Phil Cooke  ·  March 14, 2017

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When our team at Cooke Pictures works helping churches use media more effectively, one of the biggest obstacles we often face is the church’s attitude toward volunteers. Some church and media leaders think volunteers are too difficult to train, others think it’s a waste of time, and still others don’t see the impact a great volunteer team can have – particularly in media and communications. But one church – Celebration Church in Austin – led by Pastors Joe and Lori Champion have a remarkable team of volunteers.

So I asked Jeremiah Ricks, the Sunday production director for Celebration how the church has become so effective with it’s volunteer team – particulary when it comes to media. Here’s our conversation:

1) First, tell me a little about your role at Celebration.

I am the live production director here at Celebration Church. I oversee all of the audio, video and lighting for our live events such as weekly services and conferences.

2) When you launched the new sanctuary, your challenge was to double the number of volunteers in your department. How did you do it?

It started with a perspective shift for me. I didn’t like to recruit even though I saw it was necessary, for the practical reason that I can’t accomplish a live event all on my own. It still felt like I was just trying to get people to do work for me and I didn’t like that.

I had this realization about how much I loved serving and being a part of the church. Being a part of that gave me a sense of purpose. That’s how other people are. Just as I was, they are also longing for God given purpose in their lives.

Recruiting is my opportunity to share with others the joy of living with purpose. Not just any purpose but the purpose of serving God and impacting lives for eternity. Once my perspective and motivation changed it became much easier. Recruiting was no longer selfish but selfless, giving others the gift I had received of purpose. Then it was simply doing the work.

Talking to everyone I could, tracking down leads for new people or even people that had been on the team and making phone calls and texts and emails.

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Leadership · Communication · Development · Volunteers · Blogs & Opinion · Recruiting · Team Development · Training · All Topics


Phil Cooke
An internationally known writer and speaker, Phil Cooke has actually produced media programming in nearly 50 countries around the world. In the process, has been shot at, survived two military coups, fallen out of a helicopter, and in Africa, been threatened with prison. And during that time – through his company Cooke Pictures in Burbank, California – he’s helped some of the largest nonprofit organizations and leaders in the world use the media to tell their story in a changing, disrupted culture.
Contact Phil Cooke: phil@cookepictures.com ·  View More by Phil Cooke

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