If you talk to most KidMin pastors, they will tell you that recruiting volunteers is the most stressful part of their job.
Part of the reason for the stress is that many kids’ pastors spend much of their time on things that don’t work.
First of all, let’s talk about what doesn’t work.
• Bulletin announcements don’t work.
• Pulpit announcements don’t work.
• Guilt doesn’t work.
• Begging doesn’t work either.
What does work?
This is what the Holy Spirit said to me early in my ministry:
“Never beg for workers. Let people experience the anointing that is on the kids’ ministry, and let Me draw them to you.”
There is a calling or an anointing for kids’ ministry. The call comes from the Father. You are not the only one in your church that is called.
There are others; they just don’t know it yet. The key is to leverage opportunities for the entire congregation to experience what you experience every Sunday—the love of the Father for the kids in your class. One of the challenges in recruiting for kids’ ministry is that it is a hidden ministry. People don’t know how good it is. Your job is to make the kids’ ministry more visible.
The absolute best way to make kids’ ministry more visible is to ask your pastor to minister for one service on a Sunday morning.
If he says yes, you can do one of two things:
• A live kids’ service in big church
• Preach and cast vision for the kids’ ministry
People respond to vision, and people respond to passion. When I asked my pastor for a Sunday-morning service, he said yes, but then he looked at me and said, “It better be good.”
The bottom line is if you get a service in the sanctuary, it better be good.
If it’s not good, it will have the reverse effect:
• Volunteers will stay away.
• You may not get another chance.
• You will be communicating a negative experience to your pastor.
How do you make it good?:
• Be prepared.
• Practice hard.
• Trust the Holy Spirit.
• Work like it all depends on you, and pray like it all depends on God.
If your pastor says no, then ask for five minutes on a Sunday morning or perhaps during a Wednesday-night service.
If the five minutes go well, it builds trust. He might give you the whole service next time.
Ask people to get involved.
Another productive way to recruit people is to simply ask them face-to-face to help. It’s ironic, but volunteers rarely just
volunteer. Most people need to be asked one-on-one.
I go after the new parents that just started attending for three or four weeks.
This is how I ask them: “I’ve noticed that your kids are great kids. They are well-behaved and participate in service. I can tell that you are the kind of parents that I want to teach other people’s kids.”
Ask people to help with VBS or kids’ camp.
Many people do not want to make a long-term commitment, but they will get involved with something, like camp, VBS, or a lock in.
This gives them an opportunity to experience how fun children’s ministry is.
This gives you an opportunity to build a relationship during the week.
After the event is over, ask them to volunteer in kids’ ministry.
I always get new volunteers for kids’ ministry from these special events.
Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team.