Find out what captures and keeps volunteers with these
exclusive survey results from Children’s Ministry Magazine. Learn
from real experts on volunteering — volunteers
“Yes, is Michael there please?”
“Michael, this is Karen from Church on the Run. How are you this
“Fine. What can I do for you?”
“Michael, I’m working with our preschool department, and we’re
currently looking for a teacher for our 3- and 4-year-old class…
Sound familiar? Perhaps you’ve been the person making a call
like this. Your ministry is to identify and contact potential
volunteers to ask them to get involved in ministering to children.
You contact people and wonder what in the world you can do to get
them to say yes. If only you could understand what goes on in a
potential volunteer’s mind as you’re making the request.
What can you do to get volunteers to sign on? (Okay, let’s just
get it out in the open — you can’t get or keep volunteers — only
God can. But you can use methods to work hand in hand with God to
invite people into a world-changing ministry to children. Now that
that’s clear, let’s go on!) Almost all children’s ministers wonder
what they can do to ensure that volunteers stay around long enough
to add more depth to their ministry-not to mention the fact that
long-term volunteers make your job of recruiting easier.
One of the greatest challenges in children’s ministry is to have
the right people in the right place to accomplish the seemingly
insurmountable task of ministering to children and families.
Seminars and training sessions on recruiting are never lacking in
attendance. Children’s ministers quickly devour any opportunity to
glean a new idea or innovative recruiting method. Jesus himself
recognized that there weren’t enough ministry recruits when he
declared, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few”
(Matthew 9:37). And his first solution to the problem was
If you oversee a team of volunteers, your ministry can appear to
be the open door of opportunity or the revolving door of ministry
entrances and exits.
Thanks to the 200 volunteers who responded to the Volunteers
Speak Out survey in Children’s Ministry Magazine, you can ensure
that the door to your ministry is one that volunteers won’t quickly
exit. These 200 volunteers told us how they were recruited, how
their children’s ministry overseer supports them, changes they’d
suggest to make their volunteer experience more enjoyable, and why
they continue to serve children in their church. Read on to learn
from the real experts on volunteering-volunteers themselves!
Recruiting That Works
If only there were a packaged recruiting formula that we could
sell to children’s ministers. We’d be rich overnight. The problem
is, there isn’t a formula, but there are distinct patterns that
emerge from the survey responses.
Popping the Question — The #1 recruiting
method used to involve people in children’s ministry is to simply
ask. Because someone personally asked most of these volunteers,
they got involved. Relationship was a key factor for our surveyed
volunteers when being recruited for ministry to children. An
inspiring 74 percent of the survey respondents said that they’re
serving as a result of conviction and/or because they were
personally asked by someone with whom they already had an
established connection or relationship.