Finding volunteers to work in children’s ministry can be daunting to say the least. I remember years ago when I was a children’s ministry director that finding helpers for children’s ministry was the hardest part of my job. I would imagine it is ever harder in our fast paced world today.
When you have children of divorce in your ministries who might be out of control or have unruly and disruptive behaviors, it can become even more difficult to find workers. I’d like to make a suggestion that will help you out and also make for a meaningful experience for the kids from divorcing families.
Think “intergenerational”! Create an intergenerational team approach. An intergenerational team will consist of your typical leaders and teachers but also it will have young people and older retired people. I particularly want to talk about the boomer population, people born between 1945 and 1964. They are a huge population. Many have retired or are semi retired and are looking for ways to invest their time in meaningful projects.
When I was writing the book Attract Families to Your Church and Keep Them Coming Back I did a lot of research on the boomers. Some of the things I learned
- They are cause driven
- They prefer short-term projects
- They like mentoring
- They are tolerant
- They are experienced oriented
- They are open-minded
- They believe church leaders should deal sensitively with hurting people – including hurting children
Some churches will set boomers up to work on quarter rotation. That way they can work for 3 months, go on vacation, and visit grandkids and return to do another 3 months. With all the traits listed above they are great to bring into children’s ministry.
Kids of divorce
Many of the children from divorced families lose contact with their grandparents. If the grandparents, from the “other” parent, don’t live close more than likely the child will not get to see them often if it at all. These kids need grandparent type relationships. Grandparent kinds of people are soft places to fall and they are tender with which to share one’s worries.
- They can share stories with the children.
- They can share scriptures
- They can give examples of a faith walk
- They can pray with individual kids or in small groups
- They can love on these kids
- They can connect and build relationships in a special way
In our DC4K (DivorceCare for Kids) groups we encourage each group to have at least one grandparent type person on their leadership team. Grandparent people are huggable and comforting to kids from divorced homes.
In one of our groups a grandfather type leader told me, “I’m one of the teachers in the four-year old Sunday morning class and this spring we had a little boy whose father left the home. This little fellow and I became attached. My grandchildren live in other states and his grandparents don’t live close by.
“It was a natural progression but now he is moving up into the Kindergarten class. The Lord has told me I need to move up with him. I need to follow him into the next class at least for a few months anyway until he can get adjusted to school and this new class. Plus I’ll be with him in DC4K when we start up this fall.”
This little boy and this church are blessed to have a grandfather who is sensitive to the Lord’s direction with this child.
I challenge you to think intergenerational and get the boomers on your team.
 Attract Families to Your Church and Keep Them Coming Back can be purchased from many online bookstores including Abingdon Press, LifeWay and Amazon