What are the questions you have to answer before you put together a missions team is this one: should you rely on recruitment or volunteers?

By recruitment we mean selectively matching qualifications and skill sets needed for an effective missions team with people who you will approach and ask them to consider taking the job or drafting them. By volunteers we mean opening the slots needing to be filled to the church body at large and accepting whoever might be first to volunteer or the best fitted from among those volunteering to serve.

Obviously, there is a balance involved. You don’t want to force someone to take the job if they really hate missions. On the other hand, you don’t want to be forced to accept people who lack the skills or knowledge necessary to do this ministry well.

Recruitment also means that individuals you choose to go after for membership on the missions team might have to taper off or drop out of other valid ministry positions in order to give the missions team the time and effort it requires. While we recommend recruitment and general terms. We understand that you might have to have a meeting with a group of volunteers in order to explain the skills and commitment level needed in order to serve on the missions team. In that way, the volunteers may be somewhat self screening.

In either case, the results are improved if you have pre-established, written qualifications and job descriptions. Prayerfully asking the input of other church leaders based on that information, you can solicit suggestions and nominations for the membership of the missions team. Orientation and training for new team members is essential to a high level of expectations and performance.

Just to summarize, consider these steps:

  • pray, before, during, and after the process
  • write a draft list of qualifications, positions, and skills needed
  • solicit suggestions for nominations from church leaders who have a broad knowledge of people who might have those qualifications, etc. within the congregation
  • approach individuals, asking them to prayerfully consider the job
  • when you have enough recruits, spend some time with them in orientation and training for the unique, impactful role of the missions team
  • praise God for and work with those he gives you