Spring is approaching and you probably have a big year planned for kids’ church. As someone once said, “No man is an island,” and you cannot achieve those plans all by yourself. For many kids’ ministries, this means finding fresh faces in areas like games, crafts and worshipping.
Volunteer recruitment needs to go big and from experience, I have found a multi-approach method works best. These ideas are proven to work for both small and large ministries.
Create a calendar with as much detail as possible. For example, pencil in tentative dates for children’s events like VBS and crusades. If you’ve got Sidewalk Sunday Schools planned for the month of June, include them on the list. Volunteers want to know when they’ll be needed before they sign up.
Offer specific areas of assignment. You want volunteers to be flexible but new volunteers may find this approach too challenging. Help first-time helpers by listing areas of assignment where assistance is needed. I like dragging my portable chalkboard into the lobby of children’s church and writing a list of areas that need volunteers. Interested people can write their name in the blanks and this prevents me from having to sort them out later.
We use skits and puppets to present a plea for help. My kids love coming up with ideas for this part of the recruitment process. One year, a child dressed up as an Uncle Sam figure and held a series of signs that essentially said, “God wants you, in His army of volunteers!” Another the kids used puppets they made to sing a “thank you” song to the previous volunteers. That was followed by a skit demonstrating why volunteers were needed.
I put photos from past programs on a disc and hand them out to parents. I also run them as a Power Point program before and after kids church. This draws interest and encourages volunteers to sign up.
I give plain deadlines for volunteering. I’ve found that volunteers like working in blocks of weeks or months. Asking for a volunteer to sign on for an extended period of time leads to burn out and I have seen far less volunteers signing up when the position seems permanent.
I offer a volunteer gift pack to workers who sign up and follow through. This includes a colorful t-shirt, a hat and some other cool kid-friendly goodies. It’s a fun little perk that doesn’t cost a ton but shows how much I appreciate the volunteer’s time and assistance.
Above all, have an attitude of appreciation. Value each volunteer and say “thank you” for their help. Kindness and appreciation will keep volunteers coming back each year.
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Encouragement for Christians.