When approaching possible male volunteers, it’s important to
remember that men and women are wired differently. Don’t spend
a lot of time highlighting the plight of “hurting” kids or sharing
a sad story that’s meant to tug at their heartstrings. Men are much
more responsive when presented with details regarding potential
results, adventure, and excitement. Stick to the metaphor used by
Podles and remember that men want to score touchdowns…not
Ask men to lead your boys’ groups and classes. Today, more
than at any point in the past, there’s an incredible need for men
to come alongside the boys in your church and provide them with
mentors and positive male role models.
An unprecedented number of boys come from fatherless homes and
desperately need to be in the presence of positive male role
models–even among Christian homes. While many incredible female
volunteers have traditionally filled the role of Sunday school
teachers — accounting for nearly 80 percent of midweek program
participants and comprising the majority of church employees
(except for ordained clergy) — only men can be male role
While men who’ve reached retirement age may provide a great
resource for your ministry, don’t overlook the positive impact
high school guys can have in the lives of younger boys. Give
every age segment of men equal consideration and effort as you work
to increase the male presence on your team.
Have men coach and shepherd men. Let men train and mentor
other men in your ministry. Build a community of men who serve
together and challenge each other to grow. Remember, men will
attract other men to your program.
Kids LOVE these Sunday School resources!
You’ll also find that many guys will shy away from serving in more
traditional roles, such as song leaders or in the nursery. However,
men often find it less intimidating to serve when given an
opportunity to work closely with other guys leading games,
teaching, or providing crowd control at a large event.
Grow your ministry’s masculine side. Traditionally, many
children’s curricula, activities, and programs were designed to
appeal to, and be presented by, women. This often left men feeling
uncomfortable, out of place, and out of touch with their church’s
To increase your chances of getting more men to commit to
volunteering, beef up the masculine side of your ministry by adding
masculine pronouns when mentioning children’s volunteers and
programs in church publications. When you have a volunteer
appreciation event, avoid the flowers and tea cups. Instead, use a
sports theme or serve guy food such as burgers instead of finger
A great way to determine whether your children’s ministry is
inviting to male volunteers is to ask men from your church who
aren’t currently active in your ministry to come in and evaluate
your program. The suggestions and ideas they help generate may be
invaluable as you reach out to other men in your church.
Create volunteer positions that men naturally want to be part
of. As a rule, men generally despise passive roles. If you
create positions where guys can get plugged in and feel they’re
having a tangible, positive impact, you’re creating opportunities
for greater male involvement.
A great way to do this is to assign new volunteers to positions
where they have “to-do” roles, such as on security teams that
monitor for disciplinary or safety issues or on your check-in team.
Positions such as these can give new recruits a chance to get a
feel for your ministry without throwing them into the spotlight or
asking them to be directly responsible for groups of kids.