Appreciation Dinner Taking Care of Volunteers

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CHILDREN’S MINISTRY VOLUNTEERS APPRECIATION
DINNER

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To show our Children’s Ministry volunteers that they’re doing a
great job, we gave them a catered buffet dinner. We sent out
personal invitations to workers and their spouses asking them to
R.S.V.P.

At the dinner, we had children serve water, coffee, and punch.
The children also sang a song of gratitude and a few children
shared what they appreciated about their Sunday school teachers.
During the evening, we had a slide-show presentation of our
volunteers serving with children. (We had taken these slides
throughout the year at special events and on Sunday mornings.)

We had gifts in brightly colored bags that matched the balloons
and tablecloths. We were tight on finances, so we weren’t able to
buy gifts for everyone. We wanted everyone to get a chance to
mingle and feel comfortable so we placed five to six gifts in each
bag and had two dice in a pie tin. Volunteers rolled the dice and
then passed the pie tin. If they received doubles on the dice, they
were able to choose a prize from the bag.

After all the prizes were opened and claimed, we gave people
five minutes to continue to roll the dice and pass the pie tin. If
people got doubles, they could take a gift from someone else. This
game brought out the child in everyone.

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We closed with a note of appreciation and prayer from our senior
pastor and children’s pastor.

Connie Chapple Blaine, Minnesota


10 “SWAPPABLE” ITEMS

Swapping materials and educational items with other churches
will give you a storehouse of ideas and supplementary materials.
Having materials more available will make Children’s Ministry
volunteers’ jobs easier.

Meet with a representative from each church that wants to be
involved in a Swap Club and set up guidelines for swapping. Have
each church provide a list of available items. Keep the lists
updated. Set up check-in and check-out procedures. Be sure not to
infringe on copyrights.

Here are items that’ll work with any church:

  1. Games, sports equipment, carnival games for special events,
    reproducible game sheets, and books with game ideas
  2. Craft books, reproducible crafts, leftover craft kits and craft
    supplies, such as foam trays and juice-can lids, badge-makers,
    beadwork frames, and other reusable equipment
  3. Music, records, tapes, and instruments
  4. Costumes and props
  5. Puppet, clowning, and creative dance materials
  6. Children’s sermon ideas and object lesson materials
  7. Bulletin board cutouts, borders, pictures, and ideas
  8. Children’s clip art
  9. Classroom visuals
  10. Library materials, books, maps, and magazines

Mary Davis Montrose, Iowa


WINNING COOPERATION

Create a climate of cooperation among your Children’s Ministry
volunteer team with these ideas from Well-Intentioned Dragons:
Ministering to Problem People in the Church by Marshall
Shelley:

Publicly praise your volunteer team’s strengths, such as their
ability to endure hardship, their creative flair, or their deep
love for children.

Enjoy and take pride in the diversity among team members. See
differences as your greatest strength because you complement each
other.

Thank critics, at least initially, for their candor and concern.
Be open to people’s input. Let others know that your team is still
in process and eager to be all God wants them to be.

Assume that anything uncomplimentary you say about others will
be repeated. So don’t say it. Trust very few people with your
private criticisms and suspicions.

Step cautiously into other people’s problems. Balance Paul’s
instruction to carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:1-5) and
Jesus’ refusal to intervene in the disputes of others (Luke
12:14).


BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO IDEA

Invest in a camcorder and use it to tape training sessions. The
videos can be checked out by Children’s Ministry volunteers who
miss meetings. Also, you can show the tapes to new teachers or use
them as a refresher course for longtime teachers. And an added
bonus: Provide them to potential teachers who want to learn more
about your children’s ministry.

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