Recruiting volunteers is a challenge faced by many churches. However, one key factor that significantly impacts volunteer recruitment is the structure of the teams within a ministry. In his book “Stretch,” mentor Jim Weidman introduces the concept of a maintenance structure versus a growth structure. Implementing a volunteer coaching system can be a game changer in recruiting more volunteers and fostering a culture of growth. This blog post will delve into the importance of volunteer coaches, how to redesign teams with coaches in mind, and the empowering effect this structure has on volunteer recruitment.

The Power of Volunteer Coaches

Volunteer coaches play a vital role in leading and empowering other volunteers. They are volunteers themselves, serving as leaders within their respective areas. Whether it's a preschool coach overseeing multiple rooms or a student ministry coach guiding small group leaders, their role is to provide support, mentorship, and leadership to a group of volunteers. By implementing this coaching system, churches can tap into the potential of their existing volunteers, allowing them to take ownership and responsibility for their teams. This structure not only facilitates smoother operations but also creates opportunities for growth and scalability within the ministry.

Designing a Structure with Volunteer Coaches

When restructuring volunteer teams with coaches in mind, it is essential to consider the unique dynamics of each ministry. Depending on the size and needs of the ministry, the number of coaches required may vary. For example, if there are two services, dividing volunteers based on their service time and ministry area can help ensure a more tailored approach. It is important to distribute coaches based on workload, keeping the number of volunteers under their guidance manageable, typically ranging from five to fifteen volunteers per coach. Flexibility is key when allocating coaches, ensuring that the structure aligns with the specific requirements and dynamics of the ministry.

Empowering Coaches for Recruitment Success

Once the volunteer coaching structure is in place, it is essential to empower coaches to excel in their roles, particularly in recruiting new volunteers. Coaches can leverage their firsthand experience as volunteers to effectively communicate the value and impact of serving in their respective teams. Encouraging coaches to identify potential volunteers within their social circles and providing them with recruitment strategies can enhance their effectiveness. Furthermore, the freed-up time gained by ministry leaders can be utilized for personal recruitment efforts, further reinforcing the culture of growth and multiplying volunteer engagement.

Incorporating New Coaches and Recruitment Strategies

The process of inviting volunteers to serve as coaches can involve both existing volunteers and potential new leaders. Existing volunteers who have exhibited exceptional leadership qualities can be approached to take on coaching responsibilities, leveraging their experience and influence. Coaches who may not have served in other roles within the ministry can bring fresh perspectives and leadership skills. It is important to communicate the significance of the coaching role and provide clear expectations. Moreover, offering a trial period where coaches can double up their responsibilities while simultaneously helping to recruit their replacements can smoothen the transition.

Expanding Growth through Volunteer Coaches

Implementing a volunteer coaching structure paves the way for sustained growth within a ministry. As leadership responsibilities are effectively distributed, ministry leaders gain more time and energy to focus on recruiting additional volunteers. This shift from a maintenance structure to a growth structure propels the ministry forward, creating an environment where volunteers feel empowered, supported, and motivated. The impact of this transformation may not be immediately quantifiable, but the correlation between giving away ministry responsibilities and experiencing growth is tangible and rewarding.


Effective team structures play a pivotal role in volunteer recruitment. The integration of volunteer coaches enables ministries to tap into the potential

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