“Where will I find some more MOPPETS carers? I need them for this meeting!” “Our Creative Activities leader is stepping down at the end of this year, who can we get to do that role?”
Have you ever felt like that? Many groups have seasons where they struggle to find carers for MOPPETS, or sometimes to find new leaders for the steering team.
I have been reading a great book called “The New Breed: Understanding and equipping the 21st Century Volunteer”. by Jonathan McKee and Thomas W McKee. It lists some common mistakes we make when trying to find people to help us:
Expect Announcements to Get Volunteers
Oops. I’ve done this. Guilty as charged. However, if you’ve also done this it’s not all bad news. We still need to make announcements. While these announcements often don’t result in actual volunteers, it’s a great way of raising awareness and paving the way for a personal approach. Generally people don’t want to volunteer – they want to be asked. So go ahead and make the announcement, share the need – and then approach people individually and ask them if they are prepared to help. An approach of “I’ve noticed how great you are with children, would you consider helping out with our MOPPETS programme?”, or “I love the care you take with morning tea each MOPS morning, I’d love you to join our Hospitality team” communicates “we want YOU”.
Go it Alone
Need more carers? Or more leaders on your team? Don’t rely solely on yourself to find people to help out. Ask your team – who do they know who might help out? Maybe there is a mum who would make a great Discussion Leader whom you hardly know. Ask your mums if they know anyone who might like to volunteer as a MOPPETS carer. Of course, you need to check them out, but don’t limit yourself to people you personally know or are acquainted with.
Recruit Volunteers Who Only Make Long Term Commitments
Particularly with MOPPETS, sometimes it’s easier to find a group of people who are willing to give two hours a month, or even one meeting a term, than to find someone who is willing to commit to every meeting. Don’t limit yourself to people who will only come to every meeting. Who knows… if they commit to come even once, they might just find they love it and be prepared to help again.
Assume that “no” means “never”
Sometimes we can be so nervous about asking someone to help out, once we hear “no” we don’t hear the reason why. Maybe their “no” just means “not now”. Listen to the answer, and don’t be afraid to ask again.
Recruit any Ol’ B.I.C. (Butt in the Chair)
Don’t let desperation drive you to fill a position with anyone willing to put up his/her hand to help out. The reality is you may find it easier to cope with a vacancy then to deal with the wrong person doing a job or holding a position. Some positions need people with gifts in that area, and it’s wise to wait until God brings the right person along.
Of course, the first thing we do when facing a need for carers or leaders – or any need – is to pray. Don’t forget – your MOPS group belongs to God! He is able to provide all that you need. Sometimes it’s not in the way we want, sometimes God chooses to stretch us, but He is a good God and we can trust Him.
I love this quote by John Ortberg – “There is a God and it is not you”. I need to remind myself of this, as I find it easy to fall into the trap of thinking it’s all up to me. While I’m running around, trying to sort everything out, I’m sure God is waiting patiently for me to come to Him and ask Him to work it out.
When we’ve prayed, then we are able to go out and act in obedience, being led by the Spirit, and trust God for the results.
Field Staff Manager