Is Guilt Preventing You From Building Your Ministry Team?

In front of me was a parent searching for something to do; however, her time was limited. She couldn’t serve at our programs or in the evenings; the only time she was available was during the day. That was a problem because, in my mind, there wasn’t a lot to get done during the day outside of tedious office work.

I felt guilty asking her to take on mundane work because those tasks were mundane, and she had a lot of enthusiasm, which I didn’t want to lose that. After all, a volunteer who is reluctantly serving can be a drain on your leadership.

But, I took a chance, and to my surprise, she told me, “Yes, I love working behind the scenes.” It was a surprise and a reminder not to let guilt stand in the way of asking people to serve no matter the task because there are people who:


We all have different passions and motivations (Want to discover yours? Click HERE), which will impact the tasks and jobs we enjoy doing. There are going to be things hate doing that get others excited. People are sitting in your pews waiting for you to ask them to serve.


Yes, people are busy, but they are also looking for something more than their 9 to 5 lives offer. Ministry can be the first step to discovering God’s unique calling for their life. You might feel guilty asking people to do one more thing, but if they are searching for their purpose, your ministry can provide it.


Some men and women had a mentor or coach who had a profound impact on their life. They want to pass along the blessings that came from their experience of having a role model. Because they are so grateful they won’t care about going the extra mile, in their mind, it’s worth it.

When we remember that volunteering isn’t a burden but an opportunity, we can go from feeling guilty to feeling inspired. But, it’s not as simple as saying to yourself, “I won’t feel guilty.” To help change our mindset, we need to:


Part of the reason guilt takes over is that we feel limited by what we can offer, and not all of those options seem attractive. The reality is that there is an endless way people can serve. You need to take the time to think about what it takes to get the job done. There could be people who:

  • Go out during the week to buy supplies
  • Create looks and designs for your website or social media
  • Organize your files or rearrange your workspace
  • Keep minutes during your meetings and send follow up emails

They might not seem like a big deal to you, or worst, they could seem like a burden. But, don’t forget there are people in your pews looking to do something, and they have passions that differ from yours. Help them find their role by creating something outside of the box.


It’s hard to invite people into ministry when you are in desperate need of help. Your asks might seem more like begging, which isn’t attractive, and the clarity on how they can serve is lacking. To overcome this form of guilt, you need to start thinking about the bigger picture:

  • Why is serving in your ministry so important?
  • What’s the value and vision of being a part of your team?
  • What could happen in a person’s life if they get involved?

Give your parish a vision, and you give them something to be enthusiastic about, which can make your life a lot easier.


If people know they are valued, then they won’t mind putting in the extra effort. A guilt mindset will show value through apologies, while a grateful state of mind will show value through love. Take away the guilt by celebrating with your team. If they do something great, let them know. If they hit a milestone in life (personally or professionally), congratulate them. Make sure you thank and reward them for all the great work that they are doing. Not only will they feel valued, but pass along the gratitude to their teens, the parents, and other volunteers.

Leading out of guilt is going to limit your capacity to reach more teens because it’ll hold you back from getting the right people on your team. Remember that God has called you to invite others to accompany young people in their faith journey; don’t rob them of the joy that comes with serving others.

How can you recruit from a guilt-free mindset?

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