Hi, my name is Michelle Anthony. Welcome to Family Ministry Conversations. Today’s topic is replication versus recruitment.

Replication is different because it’s a discipleship model.

We all know that when we work in children’s or student ministries, we are chronically in need of more and more volunteers and leaders. So we are constantly recruiting and trying to get more people in the door.

But what if we took a different step, a different approach?

For example, if I recruit five volunteers every year for five years, then at the end of those five years I would have 25 volunteers. Now, that may sound like a lot of people to work in your ministry and to serve alongside of you, but what if we tried replication instead?

Replication is different because it’s a discipleship model. I’m modeling. I’m investing in five people. I’m instilling my values. I’m walking alongside of them, modeling, and showing them how to do ministry. The goal is that at the end of that year they know how to replicate themselves in somebody else.

The discipleship model that we use for children and students works for our volunteers as well. I’m not just simply grabbing someone to plug a hole; I’m investing my life into five people.

You might say “Well, I don’t have the time to do that.” But let me show you the math.

father holding hands of his little daughter and assisting her to walk along
Image Credit: Oscar Wong/Moment/Getty Images

The Power of Exponential Growth

In the recruitment model, at the end of five years I have recruited 25 people (5 people x 5 years = 25 people). But in replication, at the end of my first year I have replicated myself in five people. By the second year, those five people have replicated themselves into five more people giving us 30 volunteers total. By the third year we will have trained and developed 155 people.

Now, this is where it gets crazy. After year four we now have 780 individuals serving in our ministry. And just in case you don’t believe me, I did the math. Because by year five we have 3,905 volunteer leaders. Welcome to the mega church that you just started, right?

Don’t Just Plug Holes—Invest in People

These numbers are crazy to think about, but the idea is that we’re not simply grabbing people to plug holes in a frantic mess. We are inviting them into something far more captivating than just filling a spot.

We’re investing in students’ lives. And the way we want them to invest in students’ lives through discipleship and replication is the way that we should recruit our volunteers.

We should recruit them into a relationship, a replication of our ministry and our values, so that we can impact the next generation for a lifetime.

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