This Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 4:12–23) is a reminder to us that nothing beats the personal touch when it comes to inviting people into ministry. And this time of the year—late winter—is a good time to start your catechist recruitment efforts for next year.
Jesus did not put up posters or distribute literature inviting people to follow him; he used the personal approach. He asked people what they were looking for and then he invited them to follow him and to discover what they were looking for. For catechetical leaders, recruiting (calling forth) catechists is one of the highest and most challenging priorities. While it is important to have literature to support your recruitment efforts, the most effective way to invite people to discern whether they have a vocation as a catechist is through the personal touch. Be sure to:
- Identify people’s gifts.
- Assemble a team to assist you.
- Identify a pool of potential candidates.
- Tap into the reasons people are motivated to volunteer.
- Create an inviting environment.
- Recruit proactively and continually.
- Treat your current volunteers well.
Experts in recruitment, community engagement, and evangelization techniques continually tell us that there is no more effective recruitment strategy than the personal invitation. Jesus transformed the world, and he began the process by personally inviting a few people to follow him!