Real Answers From Real Ministers' Wives

Recruiting Volunteers For Meals

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Q. I am looking for a creative idea on how to get your congregation to sign up to cook meals for special occasions at church like: church anniversary, monthly birthday party, pot-luck, etc. It's been like pulling teeth. A sign-up sheet doesn't work. They don't sign up and I (pastor's wife) end up cooking lots of food. HELP!

(Because we are a diverse community, below you will find a variety of opinions from a variety of pastors' wives. The opinions expressed below are solely held by their respective authors and not necessarily by Fishbowl Ministries.)


It isn't very creative, however we tend to take the approach that if church members do not want to sign up for things, they don't want them. I/we do not do any more than we would in normal situations. If everyone shows up at this dinner or occasion and there is nothing but the casserole or dish you brought (normal size), they might get the hint ;-) Warn them that this is the way it will be and - just like with your children - FOLLOW THROUGH.

The only other idea I can think of is to go to individuals and ask them personally if they are attending the function. If they respond yes, then ask them to bring a specific something. ("Oh, great! We need a tossed salad; would you please bring one?)

If I think there will be a problem and it's important that there are plenty of food items (i.e. funeral), I write up columns with food items listed at the top, such as Salad, Casserole, Bread, Vegetable, Dessert, etc. and write how many of each we need. All they have to do is write their name in the column of what they are committing to bring. Then, I personally pass it around and ask, or I delegate it to someone else that I trust to get the job done. Cali

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