Knowing how to recruit volunteers is one of the biggest pain points for a children’s ministry director. It can be tough to find volunteers who love children, want to serve, and will stick around. To ease the pain of volunteer recruitment, we’ve compiled the top six tips for kidmin recruiting.
6 Secrets to Recruit KidMin Volunteers
1. Look for volunteers of all occupations.
Volunteers aren’t all alike. Some have been trained to teach; many have not. Some enjoy working personally with children. Others welcome indirect children’s ministry. A few can organize while others support.
You may find an excellent volunteer who’s a retired construction worker, a parent who homeschools their children, a middle-aged single adult who’s had little contact with kids, a father with five children, a janitor, or the CEO of a large company. Remember that age makes no difference for volunteers. Some of the best children’s workers are teenagers and older adults.
2. Know who to avoid.
Les Christie, in his book Unsung Heroes, suggests three types of volunteers to avoid. First, avoid adults who want to recapture their childhood. Kids need an adult, not another kid, to lead them. Second, avoid adults who are content to merely chaperone. Volunteers are children’s workers, not sponsors or even coaches. Children’s ministry is hard work.
Finally, Christie says to avoid adults who view their role as that of preachers. To work with children is to be more than a dispenser of moral advice. Sometimes kids just need a hand to hold or a friend to play ball with. Although our role in children’s ministry is to teach children about Jesus, children should see Jesus in us as well.
3. Evaluate personal interests and gifts.
As you recruit kidmin volunteers, match people to positions. Organized adults can easily plan day trips, develop a curriculum, or design a children’s program. Adults who enjoy writing can create a children’s or parent’s newsletter or type up a recruitment letter. Drama enthusiasts can start a children’s puppet ministry, provide dramas for children’s worship, or develop a clown ministry. Musical adults can lead children’s church or choirs.
Sometimes you may need photographers, cooks, drivers, painters, publicists, seamstresses, typists, carpenters, fundraisers, missionaries, and teachers. Rather than recruit a few people to wear many hats, recruit several people—with various gifts and interests—to wear a few hats each. It’s easier to enlist someone for a 15-minute job than for a 15-hour tour of duty.
Group’s Spiritual Gifts Discovery Download helps volunteers and church members discover their own spiritual gifts and better understand how God has uniquely wired them to serve. This assessment gets people energized and excited as they explore the types of ministry and how their gifts fit within them.
4. Recognize, reward, and restore your workers.
Successful recruitment incorporates affirmation of volunteers. Jot a note to every volunteer each month to express appreciation for each person’s sacrifice and contribution in leading kids. Give workers time off. Keep a list of substitutes who will fill in every once in a while for a teacher who needs a week off.
Rewarding your volunteers can be great fun. January is an ideal month to designate as Children’s Ministry Month. Create an annual celebration and spotlight your children’s teachers, helpers, and workers. In a special worship service, present each worker with a flower or plaque. Host an appreciation dinner prepared and served by children and parents. Feature kidmin workers in your church newsletter, weekly announcements, and bulletin boards.