Fishing for Volunteers
Dear Children's Church Pastors,
What is the most difficult part about kid's ministry? probably....recruiting. What are the most common negative responses you get from those you ask to join your kid's ministry team? I've heard parents say, "I don't like kids." I've heard, "I don't want to miss out on what's happening in the "real" service." Usually people don't want to work in the kid's wing because they don't see your vision. They don't know what is happening back there. They make assumptions that teaching kid's church is a boring babysitting gig. So, how can you get quality volunteers?
- Share your vision. Make the kid's wing a beautiful place. Invest time and money into making it a fun place to be. Buy relative children's church curriculum that connects kids to Jesus in a special way. Have a photographer take pictures. Have a videographer take videos. Share these moments with the church through small commercials during announcements. Play a video on a loop at the kid's check-in desk. At our church, the pastor has invited us to preach at church on occassion to share our vision and passion with the adults.
2. Communicate. Start with the parents. How do parents know what is happening in the kid's class? Their kid may or may not be able to communicate what they learned or how they experienced God in their class. So, you have to open the communication. At our church, we hand out a letter to parents each week that details what our lesson was about and gives a weekly challenge to the family. We also have a facebook group for parents and kid's church teachers. On this page we share pictures and videos from our Sunday classes, as well as discuss upcoming events.
3. Don't settle for warm bodies. If you are having a difficult time finding safe, prepared teachers, then combine classes or cancel. It is more important that you know the teacher is a good person who is trustworthy than you having a warm body in a seat. Yuck! How scary that we would invite someone who is a little sketchy to watch over our children. How interesting that we would allow someone who doesn't believe our theology to teach a lesson to our kids.
Recruiting is the number one complaint I have heard from children's pastors for years. People are hesitant to take ownership of a class, because they don't want to have to ask people to join the team. I want to believe in kid's ministry so much that I am excited to ask people to join. I want the kid's wing to be so annointed with the presence of God that people can't wait to get back there. Wouldn't that be fantastic? What if you had to put volunteers on a waiting list cause you just didn't have space for them?
*Photo by D Sharon Pruitt