Over the decades, I’ve seen a familiar message often come through to those in elders quorum.

Generally, it comes in the form of a mass email or text:

“Service opportunity! [insert family/individual name here] are/is moving tomorrow and need your help.”

The passive aggressive battle begins.

Some pretend the message never arrived.

And, hopefully, some show up ready to help.

This relates to a common concern I hear from the Leading Saints audience.

Many church leaders simply want to know how to motivate members to become doers, especially when it comes to moves and welfare assignments.

The following are simple tactics that can help stimulate higher numbers showing up to serve:

1. Ask generally, follow up individually

As Elder James E. Faust once said, “One of the first principles we must keep in mind is that the work of the Lord goes forward through assignments.”

A formal individual invitation from their leader will dramatically increase the likelihood of individuals showing up at a service opportunity.

2. Set expectations for volunteers

To avoid volunteers feeling trapped, provide as much information as possible upfront:

If it is a move, ask them for 60 minutes of their time.

Once that time is up, let them know they will be released from their duties as promised.

Many will stay longer, but others will leave knowing they gave what was expected of them.

Nobody wants to show up for a “quick” service assignment only to be trapped there for hours.

3. Set expectations in advance for the ones being served

More volunteers show up to help when specific standards are met:

For a move, this might be a request that all items be boxed up and ready to go–before helpers arrive.

Let those who will be served know what expectations you have set up with the volunteers

“I have 2 groups of 6 men coming for an hour at [specific times].”

4. Having pizza or doughnuts available doesn’t hurt!

What have you found most effective in drumming up support for a service assignment such as helping a family move or volunteering at a church welfare facility?


Kurt Francom
Executive Director
Leading Saints

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