This is another widely practiced method (see pervious post- “Enlisting Leaders- The Appointing Method”). Many times this happens when there are leadership needs or vacancies and other enlistment plans have failed. A plea is made for volunteers from the pulpit or in an email.

Sometimes it is done at the small-group level, if a group needs a teacher or leader. This is a prescription for disaster. The belief that people can understand their gifts and talents without feedback from a group can lead to abuse. How many times have we allowed a teacher to lead because they say they have a “gift,” when it is obvious to the group and other leaders that they do not?

“I firmly believe that gifts become obvious in the context of their use”. This is why I struggle with the self-assessment tests that are given for ministry. These tests can help us see people’s passions and leanings, but I have met too many people who say the test says they have a certain gift and it seems obvious to everyone they don’t.

Sometimes people who volunteer have other agendas than service to God and others. We don’t need to rehearse the pain that many churches have experienced in preschool, children’s, and youth small groups when a person has pushed his or her way into leadership.

“Okay, Hal,” you might be thinking, “what do you use at?” Glad you asked! We think we have found the safest and most effective way in this next method. (watch for the next post)