After surviving the lean years of having little or no help, I wasn’t prepared to have too many volunteers, but it did happen. I remember the days when I couldn’t beg, cajole or convince a parent to stay and help, now everyone’s on board (and I’m not complaining.) Here was my situation, a large group of kids graduated up to the youth group and a mass exodus occurred when some military families got reassigned to other stations. Now I have more volunteers than kids — it’s clearly a new season in my ministry. This won’t last long, we’ve got outreaches planned for growth and an attendance program that will help us retain our current kids’ church.
I keep ministry volunteers happy, and busy, by focusing on these five areas.
Continuing regular rotation. I’m not “laying off” workers, as a matter of fact, I still talk to parents and grandparents about helping in kids’ ministry. I addressed the attendance situation at a recent luncheon and encouraged my team to focus on their personal ministries. I provided them great resources and books to read, props to try and websites to visit. What better time to encourage self-improvement?
I shuffled some helpers around. I annexed some volunteers into other areas of our children’s ministry including outreaches like Sidewalk Sunday School and the monthly block party. These great leaders get to experience kids’ ministry outside the four walls of the church. Not everyone wanted to try something beyond the kids’ church and that’s okay too. There’s no need to force people into uncomfortable areas.
I put the focus on attendance for both kids and workers. We’ve doubled the Bible Bucks we offer as kids’ incentives and we reward kids who bring their friends and family. The volunteers collect data, make phone calls and send cards. Since we have fewer kids, our kids get more attention. I personally encourage them to attend by calling them when they miss and sending them cards and e-cards to say thank you when they do.
I offer specialized training. I know my strengths, those are evangelism and ministry arts. I’ve taken this “free time” to teach my team the things I know about my favorite subjects. We’re also making a few road trips to grow our ministry. Kids conferences, lunches and webinars help us become better leaders!
I’m soliciting ideas. Now is the time to brainstorm. It’s so much easier to think about the future without the demands of 100 kids each week. I count myself blessed to have so much creativity in the room.
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog at Encouragement for Christians.