Nothing Beats the Personal Touch When Recruiting Catechists


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!

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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