Children’s ministry volunteers are the precious jewels of your ministry, the force that keeps the vision moving forward. Unfortunately, at some point in your ministry, you will likely experience a volunteer shortage or some in cases a drought of willing hands. A lack of these cherished volunteers can put a strain on your first string, tried and true helpers and leave you feeling discouraged—not the place a children’s minister wants to be. While you continue to pray and actively recruit new help, you need to find ways to fill in the children’s ministry volunteer gap.
Encourage Child to Child Ministry
If you have a shortage of “mature” volunteers, take this opportunity to teach some of your children leadership. Hand-select a few children to mentor. Teach these children how to minister to the rest of the flock by instructing them in assisting you in the ministry. Here are some tips to help you.
- Give kids a peek behind the scenes. Show them how you plan the message, what resources you use and listen to their input. Let them see how you choose object lessons, games and skits.
- Do not recruit kids just because they are needy. The number one requirement should be choosing a child who is teachable.
- Teach kids “example leadership.” Explain to the children you want them to lead by their good example not by their ability to be bossy.
- Respect a child’s wish to quit your leadership program and accept it with love.
- Make a list of areas you can use child volunteers in before you begin your child to child ministry. Some suggestions would be during prayer time, altar services, collecting craft supplies and room clean up.
If you need visitor bags stuffed or folders filled, but there are no free hands available, go outside the church. Simple tasks like these do not require a college degree or church membership. Elderly neighbors or family members who are out of church may still help you by performing small tasks. Some other ways outside help can assist you is by making snacks, helping you find crafts or sewing puppet clothing. This could be a fine way to minister those “outside” the church and maybe even gain a church member.
Go High Tech
Sign your children’s ministry up for Twitter or Facebook. Start a fun feed to keep your volunteers, potential volunteers and fringe church members posted about your ministry. Do not use these high tech communications for recruiting. Instead keep it inspirational. Add messages like “Congratulations Susie Mills for winning her school’s spelling bee!” Get involved in your kids lives and keep your excitement level high. People are naturally drawn to these kinds of ministries. Use your Facebook page to get important messages to kids about an upcoming service, something a volunteer would normally do.