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Is Pride Interfering with Recruitment?

November 2, 2015

Recruiting for a ministry event or project is exhausting. It takes an incredible amount of energy to ask someone to commit money and time to meet with God’s people seeking God’s Word. Most of my time, prayers, and thoughts are dedicated to one-on-one conversations that challenge growth opportunities, answer questions, and break down potential barriers.

I quickly realize that each potential attendee’s “Yes” is threatening to their idols and swelling to my pride. Sin is always present, it’s strong, and it reacts fiercely when it is threatened.

During recruitment, I am constantly in need of truth to keep me from error, faithlessness, pride, and overwork. To combat any sin, I must seek biblical perspective and structure an effective plan. Here is a list of biblical perspectives as well as practical guidance for the recruitment stage of an event or project.

Biblical Principles

When founded on biblical principles, we are much less likely to allow the task to overcome the purpose. Think on these things to help you repel temptation.

  1. My status in Jesus is not affected by my ministry. Regardless of who comes, how many come, or how they come, I am loved fully apart from performance. “It is finished,” my fate is sealed. (John 19:30)
  2. The Gospel cancels competition. The Good News reveals a need that far surpasses what I can satisfy, eliminating opportunity for boasting. I am also freed from valuing others for what they can do for me, so I can truly love them. (Galatians 1:10)
  3. All success is grace in me, grace to me, and grace through me. God works in spite of me, and my grounds for boasting are annulled. I and everyone else are his complete and utter workmanship. (Ephesians 3:7)
  4. I am free from extra-biblical expectations and unmet goals. Christ has redeemed all my failures, making them nothing short of His success. Our God has stamped “good” on every situation to come. (Romans 8:28)
  5. The Gospel is the only ground for possibility. I am the greatest evidence that I cannot change my heart, nor can I change anyone else’s. He alone is able! (Proverbs 21:1)

W/o biblical perspective and an effective plan, recruitment can become burdensome and be undermined by your own sin.

Practical Steps

  1. Recruit personally, intentionally and through a process, just as you would in evangelism and discipleship.
  2. Recruit for a context, not an event. The event is an opportunity to encounter God’s Word and God’s people, furthering Gospel-centered relationships, not an end of itself.
  3. Recruitment is an opportunity for us to walk students through Christ-centered, decision-making processes based on faith, not feeling (Romans 14:23); Bible, counsel and prayer; and God’s will for maturing them and making disciples through them.
  4. Recruitment teaches students to think rightly (Proverbs 16:20) and trust primarily (Romans 14:23).
  5. Recruitment pursues quality over quantity. Laborers induce spiritual movement, not numerical superiority.
  6. Recruitment is largely planned momentum and timing:
    • Set campus faith goals
    • Set leader sign up date and incentive.
    • Challenge every student to bring a friend.
    • Set a recruitment strategy. (Who? When? How?)
  7. Recruitment is most effective with repetitive follow up and including parents in the decision.
  8. Recruitment is driven by an invitation to experience. We are asking God to give them “hope of a life spent with Him” (1 Peter 3:18).

Without biblical perspective and an effective plan, recruitment can not only become burdensome, it can be undermined by your own sin. Recruit carefully and with as much intention as discipleship and evangelism. Align your goals with those of Christ, not those that boost your pride. Optimize recruitment efforts for overall development of your disciples. But most importantly, remember it is God who gives the growth.

Reflection questions:

How has sin hindered your recruitment efforts?

How can you plan your recruitment strategies to align with goals outside an event or project?