What is the best way to recruit new Serrans? This fall our very active USA Council membership committee (Nancy Gibson, VP) has introduced a new and proven recruitment program that encourages club members to work through their local pastors and religious to recommend family members and local Catholic leaders for Serra membership. In pilot trials, this program has increased local club membership on average, over 25%. This collaboration will help Serran recruiters looking for good people find them. Then, importantly, I encourage you to PERSONALLY invite them; and the more personal the invitation, the more likely your invitation will be accepted.
When a new prospective member is invited to join Serra, what is it that he or she is joining? When we talk about preparing our elevator speech of what Serra stands for, we must remember that while Serra is mostly known as a great vocational activity club, it is much bigger than that.
The third objective of Serra provides the answer: We recognize the importance of working to support each other’s “Call to Holiness.” An emphasis on good, regular programs is what I consider to be the glue of a good club and the essence of what it means to be a Serran. Let’s face it, the activities and fun are great, but we are about more than that. The ones that stay in Serra are drawn to the spiritual camaraderie and growth. Long time Serrans are also those who find like-minded Catholics to share in their faith journey, and then they invite them to join those who share our faith journey. Although we are rightfully proud about our Priest affirmation activities and our well documented support of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, it is also the essence of our organization that in Serra we will find and nurture Catholic leaders for our respective Catholic communities.
Our Serra work is our outreach and part of the dynamic dimension of a club is how we grow as Catholics. No matter what your activity level, whether at the district or club level, we want to look at the essence of what goes on in our club meetings and look for remedies for apparent club ills, such as, lack of recruitment, or clubs who are slowly losing their vision of our Serra mission. If we work on the internal activities and efforts of our clubs, we will find that fixing our house will improve recruitment, our attractiveness as a club, and likewise improve our retention of new members. We must make our new members a vital part of the club by requiring their involvement in meaningful club activities and inviting them into the spiritual communities growing within our clubs. There is no place in Serra for fence sitters.
Serra has a lot to offer new prospective members. Let us continually look for good, strong members and not be timid about inviting good strong leaders to join us — prospects who will bring new ideas and more energy into the club as we move them forward. It is a fact of life that in any organization we will lose good Serra members through natural attrition caused by death or work relocation. But it is truly sad if our loss is due to our inability to convey the benefits of belonging to a dynamic, relevant, important organization.
Call today for assistance in organizing an effective Fall recruiting campaign this fall. Contact Nancy Gibson, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone her at 913-908-7601 about the Let’s Expand Serra project. It is the responsibility of all Serrans to look for and recruit good Catholic leaders — Serra prospects who will join our noble mission of encouraging, supporting, fostering and affirming vocations to the priesthood and religious life. At the end of the day, all Serrans must recognize that they are members of the membership committee.
St Junipero Serra, Guide our efforts.
Mary, Queen of Vocations, pray for us.