Having been on staff with a large sports ministry at a church, I know the challenges of recruiting volunteers. Particularly with kids, every season we would look at the registrations and determine how many coaches we would need. And we were always short. In fact, drastically short.
At this point, you are essentially faced with two options:
1) Turn kids away
2) Start plugging holes with anyone
For the sports ministry world, option #2 is chosen about 99.9% of the time. I totally understand why that option is chosen but keep in mind, that may not always be the best solution. When you plug holes, you often sacrifice your standards on who can coach. This is not a good thing typically. And it always comes with a price. Sometimes it works out (by the grace of God) and other times, it comes back to bite you. In my recent experience, the negative has far outweighed the positive.
If you are faced with one of the above two choices in the future, here are some things to consider:
1. Do you have a coaching job description? What are your standards in regards to coaches? What is non-negotiable and what is preferable?
2. What’s your philosophy on co-coaching? Could this be a good option in exploring a coaching shortage?
3. How do you feel about non-believers coaching? Assistant coaching? This question could lead to a future blog post. I definitely have opinions on this one.
4. Have you exhausted your relational networks? Have you asked other staff/friends at the church for their recommendations for coaches? Your relational network expands once you start asking for referrals.
5. What’s your stance on people from other churches coaching?
6. Have you explored youth and/or seniors at your church for coaching?
7. Finally, if you are going to just plug a hole and plop someone into coaching who is questionable, at least invest in them. Build a relationship with them, give them specialized equipping, spend one-on-one time with them, etc.