This is one time that “do unto others” doesn’t work. We’ve all had it happen to us and done it ourselves: “Oh, by the way” recruiting.
I wouldn’t have recognized it recently if I hadn’t just read a chapter of McKee & McKee’s The New Breed. They describe an “Oh, By the Way” volunteer manager, but anyone can do it. All you have to do is lure potential recruits to make a simple, reasonable commitment. Then you drop the “oh, by the way” on them — the meeting schedule, the financial commitment, the orientation hurdles, the CIA-level background checks, the locked door until they sign the contract, the — well, okay, maybe not all that, but definitely more than they expected.
Now your recruit is in a quandary (predicament, dilemma). Do they continue to check out the ministry? Some commitments turn out to be worth even a huge commitment of time and money. Or does your recruit bail out, feeling embarrassed about giving the impression that they don’t make good on their promises?
Sometimes it is hard to know the difference between “oh, by the way” recruiting and training — not to mention the difference between either of those and fortune telling! You can’t always tell people what to expect when they sign on, especially if it is a new ministry.
Jesus recognized that ordinary people consider the cost before they attempt projects in life. A builder estimates the cost of a tower (Luke 14:28-30). A king thinks about the manpower requirements before going to war (Luke 14:31-32).
True, a person cannot be His disciple without being willing to give up everything (Luke 14:33), but that doesn’t give you permission to use deception (if you know the cost) or lack of planning (if you haven’t thought ahead).
In our next post, we’ll look at three ways to avoid “Oh, by the way” recruiting.