5 Ways to Recruit Like Jesus

FollowmeI have recently been reflecting on Matthew 9, when Jesus called Matthew to follow him.  I have written a post about what that means for ministry leaders and parents.

But Jesus style of recruiting really applies any time you are inviting people to join you, your vision, or your work. Jesus carved out time from his day and his duties, to add one invitation to someone to join him. That produced powerful results because 1) Matthew took him up on his offer to follow and 2) Matthew grew to become a key player in Jesus’ team and ministry.

That invitation, as I have mentioned, wasn’t a day long meeting or a week of planning, it was a moment of connecting with Matthew.  But it happened right in the middle of every day life for Jesus – both the good and the bad.

Here are 5 ways to recruit people like Jesus did (based on Matthew 9):

Jesus went to where Matthew was – Often, at least in the church world, we expect volunteers to come to us.  We put out an email or announcement in some publication, and expect people to flock to us in response.  It rarely works that way.  Going to the person is always the best way to get connected and to invite them in.  When you are on their turf, things surface.  Who knows, maybe Jesus saw the care and diligence with which Matthew as serving in his role as tax collector.  It may have been what prompted him to invite him to join his team on the spot!  We see more about the person when we go to where they are. And relationships become the glue, not the task at hand.

Jesus gave a clear and simple invitation – More than crafty, elaborate or creative, the invitation needs to be clear and simple. What is the main thing you want to invite someone to join you in?  Boil that down to something they can understand and ask them. Jesus simply said, “follow me”.

Jesus created an action step for Matthew (he closed the deal, in just two words) – Often, in inviting people on to our team, we make the appeal, we talk about the role, but we forget to ask for their answer and we muddle the closing.  Say something like, “what do you think, is that for you?” and then don’t say anything else.  Let them speak and respond.

Jesus made it personal – Jesus walked right up to Matthew and extended a personal invitation.  Through his actions he gave these indications to Matthew:  1)  I have thought about you in advance 2) I think you are prefect for this job 3) I’m starting with you first and if you can’t then, I’ll keep going down the list… but I want you.  4) You’re the man for the job.

Jesus created a framework for Matthew to see and experience – The best way to learn and grow in ministry – or any work – is to experience it. For someone learning to become a surgeon, the motto is “see one, do one, teach one”.  It’s all experience driven. Jesus opened the door for Matthew to join him in the work and to experience first hand.  That’s what people need.  They need an opportunity and a clear way to step into learning and growing in the role.


Who else neesd to increase their volunteer teams?

Steps to move people to ownership 

4  Types of People

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2 thoughts on “5 Ways to Recruit Like Jesus”

  1. I like Jesus’ invitational style…and the mystery in his reply to Andrew and the other disciple of John the Baptist (as recorded in John 1:35ff): “Come and see.”

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