Calling All Volunteers

We are now ready to take some time to discuss another important responsibility of a catechetical leader (CL): The recruitment of catechists and volunteers for your ministry.  One thing all CL’s have in common is that we are always looking to recruit volunteers.

Recruiting others to help in your ministry is vital.  The General Directory for Catechesis says: “The vitality of catechesis in recent years has been amply demonstrated by many positive aspects.  Among them…the great number of priest, religious, and laity who devote themselves with enthusiasm to catechesis, one of the most important ecclesial activities (#29)”.  I love that last part where it states how the ministry of catechesis is one of the most important ministries in the Church.  Not all volunteer positions are equal.  Calling forth catechists who will be a true instrument of passing on knowledge of the Faith and help assist those they serve come to a greater transformation in Christ.  This is not an easy task when at times CL’s are glad to just have people who come forward to be a part of their ministry.  I’ll discuss more about the ideal catechist in a future post in this series.

The First Catechists

Jesus gives a glimpse of recruiting others when He called His Apostles (see Matthew 5:18-22).  Their calling was simple yet personal.  Jesus did not expect perfection from the beginning, but through continual formation assisted the apostles to be the ones who would be fishers of men (cf. Mk. 1:16-18) and laborers in the field (cf. Mt. 9:37-38).

How to Recruit

There are many things a CL could initiate to recruit volunteers.  Here are two things to consider:

1) Communicate

Share with others that you have a need.  Many CL’s use the bulletin, send emails, print flyers and make announcements.  Whatever you do, seek to let others know what God is doing in your ministry and that you need others to assist.  Some ministries have specific times of the year where the recruitment of catechists and volunteers is more frequent (e.g., catechists for religious education programs are often recruited a couple of months before it begins).  The key is communicating your needs and the rewards of being a part of your ministry.

2) Personal Invite

The most effective way to recruit individuals to assist you in your particular ministry is to give a personal invitation.  When the bulletin or newspaper asks for volunteers in general many feel like it is too impersonal or there are others out there who will say yes.  However, when they are given a personal call, email or face to face invitation (often the best) that speaks much more clearly and personally to them.

Many Are Needed

A CL is no “one man show”.  He/she must recruit others to help fulfill their ministry responsibilities.   Recruiting can be very challenging, especially today’s where everyone is so busy.  The rewards of talented, enthusiastic, faith-filled volunteer catechists outweighs the many challenges that come with sharing the Gospel with others.  Continually look to the Holy Spirit to provide those necessary “laborers” for your ministry.

What are things you have done to successfully recruit volunteer catechists?

Check out the other posts in this series:

P.S. The day after I posted this  entry I found a good post called interviewing volunteers by