1. Make a plan. If possible, get a Choir President called to help you do recruiting. Make a list of all of the former singers you can remember. Approach them personally to invite them to come to rehearsals. Send out emails or text message reminders weekly. Prepare choir folders. Keep a roll. Be open for alternative choir options: unison, 2-Part, SA, SAB, SATB, Family Choir, choir "seasons" only (Easter or Christmas), etc.
2. In setting rehearsals, be sensible about scheduling. Talking to potential choir members and finding out their situations and needs may help you find an appropriate time and place for rehearsals.
3. Deliberately sit in different parts of the chapel to listen for potential singers. If you find candidates, including youth and possibly older children, personally invite them to be part of the choir. You may have to convince them that they do not necessarily need to read music. They can learn the parts during rehearsals. (Non-threatening!)
4. Choose music that suits the group. Few small Ward Choirs these days have seasoned singers who already know how to read music, have had choral experiences, and perhaps even have trained voices. (Be sensitive to the abilities of your accompanist, too.) In that case, better not choose full-out 4-6 part choral Master works to start with. Assess your strengths. If you have mostly melody singers, begin with unison or 2-part pieces. (They can be learned fairly quickly so you can get up and running.) Introduce more sophisticated pieces as skills progress. Occasionally pick a "challenge" piece or Master Work for a special occasion that the singers can take their time learning. They will feel so accomplished!
5. Manage rehearsals and performance schedules sensibly. Do a few targeted warm-ups every time. Plan a teaching strategy for teaching/learning the music. Always have two or three songs in rotation. Make a long-term schedule so the singers (and you as the Director) know when they can expect to sing. There is nothing worse than finding everyone on vacation when you planned for them to perform!
Sing! Sing! Sing! It feels so good to be back!