After a season of working solo, an extra pair of hands is a welcome sight but in our zeal to lighten the load, we can make recruiting mistakes. Recruiting for kids’ ministry is an ongoing process but don’t fall into the trap of desperation and compromise. While the gospel is an “everyone welcome” message, not everyone is “called” to work in children’s ministry. I’ve labored in this special and spectacular ministry for fifteen years so I’ve got a little experience with recruiting. So what recruiting mistakes have I made?
1. “You can volunteer anytime.” Yep, I’ve said those words and they have come back to bite me. Don’t put up some empty parameters on this important job. If you do, you’ll end up with all the volunteers showing up on “party” days and no one when you really need them. Create a schedule for your volunteers. Assign your team to certain days.
2. Only recruit seasonally. If you want to keep your volunteer schedule full, you need to recruit all year round. Sure, you may need extra folks for the Christmas play or a kids’ crusade but waiting until you need those people can put you short-staffed. Keep volunteer seeking at the top of your to-do list.
3. You end up competing for volunteers with other ministries in the church. Even if you don’t know you’re doing it, you could be doing it! And to be fair, they could be too. Stop the cycle of competition by meeting with other leaders to talk about the current volunteer pool. Be willing to share, if volunteers are willing, and let a few go, at least for a little while. You have to allow people to find their way.
4. Fail to fit in unique volunteer gifts. I’ve done this and I’ve regretted it. God will send some unique potential your way. You have to recognize it and embrace it. I’ve had the chance to work with a rodeo clown but missed a chance to work with a balloon artist. Work those gifts into the ministry!
5. Forget to practice vision casting regularly. When you cast a vision only once a year, people won’t remember what you’re doing, or why. Remind people of the vision at every meeting possible. Keep the vision short. Here’s a good example, “Mending broken kids,” or “Teaching and training that rocks!”
Don’t make the same recruiting mistakes I have! Your kids ministry needs a leader who is committed to finding the best volunteers available.
Read more from Mimi on her blog, Tools for Kids Church.