Children’s Ministries depend on volunteers. That’s the way it’s supposed to be – the body of Christ carrying out the work of the ministry. As leaders in the church, it’s our job to help them succeed. Here’s how we can do that:
7 Ways To Help Volunteers Succeed
1. Invite them to a clear & compelling vision… not by recruiting them to a big need.
Vision is what your ministry is (or should be) all about. It’s why you’re asking them to be a part of it. People respond to need for the short-term, but vision for the long-term. Which would you prefer?
2. Take time to find a great fit for them…considering their spiritual gifts, experience, abilities & passions.
No one wants to be in a position where they feel uncertain, uncomfortable, or unprepared. So take time to where a person best fits before assigning them to a position. They will serve better and longer if you do.
3. Provide orientation and equipping before they start.
Simple things like where to find resources, how to use the curriculum and what to do if something goes wrong. Share basic teaching tips and how to share the Gospel with a child. Let them know how to ask questions (and to whom!). And make sure they understand the most important policies and procedures (bathroom policies, evacuation procedures, etc.).
Basic orientation and equipping goes a long way to getting a new volunteer off to a good start.
4. Proactively connect them to other leaders in your ministry.
We all serve better together – in community. And ministry always happens best in the context of relationship. So help the new volunteer step into a community and begin relationships with other volunteers right away.
Keep them informed and let them know what’s going on. A great way to lose volunteers quickly is to keep them in the dark or to make changes and not tell them. Personal, regular, systematic communication is essential. And remember – ensuring they get the message is my responsibility as much as theirs.
6. Follow up regularly.
Are they feeling comfortable where they serve? Are they connecting well with their team? With the kids? Do they have everything they need? What are some of their ideas to make things better? You get the idea.
Simply knowing that someone cares about their well-being helps a volunteer feel more comfortable and enabled to serve.
7. Appreciate & care for them personally.
Make sure they’re getting to worship service. Thank them with a personal note. Praise them in front of the kids or their spouse. Take them to coffee and see how they’re doing personally & spiritually