(Photo courtesy of Memorial Drive UMC, Houston, TX)
A strong vibrant children’s ministry is vital to the overall growth of a healthy church. A place where children can explore, discover and experience God’s unconditional love, feel accepted and valued. A place where they are introduced to Jesus and to a life of service for him. As a children’s minister you set the tone for success. The congregation feeds off your excitement, passion and calling. Get them fired up about serving with your children’s ministry. Build an important partnership between church and family and helping children to grow in their faith.
As you start your fall enlistment for volunteers take time to think about your passion, your calling, the vision and goals for your ministry to children. What opportunities is God wanting you to unfold and discover? Think of ways to share and communicate your calling and opportunities as you ask others to join you. People are more likely to serve for something when they see and feel its purpose and that it is making a difference in the lives of others!
Building a children’s ministry volunteer team is an ongoing process. A process of not just inviting adults to serve but educating the congregation of the importance of children’s ministries. Your congregation needs to see, hear and experience the importance of what you do for the children of the church and community. Show off on a regular basis!
Share details about what the children are discovering and learning in your ministry.
- Educate church members concerning the curriculum you are using through your worship bulletin, social media or weekly blog posts.
- Have the children teach and sing one of their favorite VBS songs in a worship service.
- Create banners and send cards letting leaders know they have been prayed for as they minister.
- Send a text message to your leaders letting each one know of your appreciation for their commitment to this vital ministry.
- Use your social media platforms to communicate highlights and God moments.
- Build the momentum and excitement that here is a place to put your faith in action.
A strong vibrant volunteer team means reaching out and building relationships, and most importantly a personal invite from you. You need to invest the time to get to know your potential volunteers and connect with them. What are their strengths and passions? Take time to guide them into a volunteer opportunity, playing to their strengths and where God has gifted them. Give them plenty of options for serving and be creative with time commitments. Can a team of four adults serve one classroom twice a month? Create different levels of service for those just starting out and for more seasoned volunteers. Set your volunteers up for success!
Think positive and pray! As you invite others to join you on this faith journey remind yourself not to recruit out of desperation or filling a slot. Thinks of ways to invite and evoke a sense of excitement and fun! Reframe from using the common recruiting technique, “We need you” and replace that phrase with "An opportunity to serve!" Offer a behind-the-scenes tour several times a year promoting and educating your congregation of what Sunday Programming is all about and what it takes to make it happen. Keep the invitation to serve upbeat and inviting! Something like this: Interested in learning about our Sunday Programming for children? Come for a behind the scenes tour and learn how to get involved!
What ways can you help lighten the load for potential Sunday School teachers? Help dispel the stigma that teaching Sunday School is taxing and takes a lot of prep.
- Have their classrooms ready to go with the lesson and all the needed supplies.
- Communicate with them prior to Sunday to see if they need anything or have any questions.
- Pray with them, thank them, offer them encouragement and support.
- Remind them of the important role they are playing in helping build God’s Kingdom.
Work alongside your pastor to help create a culture of service for the congregation. Together you can help individuals learn and tap into their spiritual gifts by helping them share these gifts with others. Everyone’s gifts work together to achieve God’s vision. In 1 Corinthians, chapter 12 verses 13-31, Paul has a conversation about spiritual gifts. Each person and each gift matters. God invites us to use our interests and talents at church because our spiritual gifts are important to God for the common good for all.
Children’s Ministry has opportunities for members to use every tool God has given them. God wants them involved!
Share ways you enlist and build leaders for your ministry to children. Know your efforts are important in the lives of these families. Blessings to you as you begin your fall ministry to children.