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A woman is holding up a sign at a volunteer expo.
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7 Simple Tips for Hosting a Ministry Volunteer Expo

Looking to recruit more volunteers? These seven simple tips will help your ministry host its very own volunteer expo.


Gateway Community Church in Austin, Texas, hosted a Volunteer Expo to recruit volunteers for various church ministries, including children’s ministry. Ministries set up displays to highlight their ministries and talked face-to-face with potential volunteers. Here are tips for hosting a successful expo.

7 Simple Tips for Hosting a Ministry Volunteer Expo

1. Coordinate with “big church.”

Team up with your senior pastor and creative team to plan your expo around a sermon series that highlights volunteering and service. Next, cast your vision to the staff so they catch your enthusiasm and promote the expo at worship services.

2. Pray.

Ask God to speak to the hearts of people and draw them to your expo, and then thank God for the future volunteers who’ll attend your event.

3. Form a team.

Use team members gifted in areas such as decorating, party planning, communication, and administration to oversee these aspects of the expo. Their investment and enthusiasm will lighten your load and allow volunteers to be involved firsthand.

4. Make the volunteer expo fun.

A volunteer expo should feel like a party! Incorporate lots of color, music, balloons, food, and giveaways. Don’t forget to highlight your ministry in ways that represent your vision and mission clearly to attendees.

5. Create momentum.

First, build excitement before your event by posting volunteers’ ministry stories on your church website, blog, or Facebook page. Then, send invites via social networking sites, Twitter, and snail-mail. When people sign up to volunteer, give them a sticker to wear that says, “I’m In.”

6. Organize everything.

Consider using a universal theme such as hot air balloons, and then give each ministry a color so they’re easily identifiable. Equip each ministry table with lists of volunteer descriptions and open opportunities, pens, and clipboards. Have applications and background-check forms available at ministry tables so eager volunteers can start quickly.

7. Plan follow-up to the volunteer expo.

Don’t let people fall through the cracks. Input all potential volunteers into your database right away, and begin making follow-up calls within 48 hours. Have a plan for how you’ll immediately incorporate every person into training and positions.

Sara Conley
Austin, Texas

For more great ideas like this in each issue, subscribe to Children’s Ministry Magazine today!


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