There are three ways to get volunteers to “help” you when you’re overwhelmed as a church leader.

Advertise for them in the bulletin and newsletter. You won’t get many (probably any) that way, but you’ll be able to justify your self-righteous anger at the congregation – especially aimed at those who you “know” could step up. 

Or you can ask someone face-to-face to do something. I rarely couch these kinds of requests as they’re “helping me.” The work I do at the church is for the church – they’re not helping me, they’re doing the work of the church. In general, face-to-face requests get better results in terms of getting volunteers.

Or you could stop doing what’s not yours to do. I don’t mean stating (whining) that if someone doesn’t step up to take out the rest room trash, you’re going to stop doing it – I mean announce that you’re not doing it anymore and then don’t do it. (Of course, if that’s your job, then you’re going to get some justified pushback!) For instance, I regularly counsel pastors to STOP doing the bulletin. NO church needs a bulletin – and that’s emphatically true if a church has screen technology (at which point a bulletin is pretty much a waste of both time, paper, and toner resources). But if a church wants a bulletin badly enough, when the pastor stops doing it, someone will step up to do it. 

Of the three ways to get volunteers to “help you,” the last one tends to be the most effective for two reasons. First, you are immediately relieved of some arduous task; and Second, if someone wants the ministry/task/etc. to be done badly enough, they’ll step up … or make arrangements for it.