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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 facejungle-to-face with potential volunteers.
Here are tips for hosting a successful expo.

  • Coordinate with “big church.” Team with your
    senior pastor and creative team to plan your expo around a sermon
    series that highlights volunteering and service. Cast your vision
    to staff so they catch your enthusiasm and promote the expo at
    worship services.
  • Pray. Ask God to speak to the hearts of people
    and draw them to your expo, and thank God for the future volunteers
    who’ll attend your event.
  • 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.
  • Make it fun. An 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.
  • Create momentum. Build excitement before your
    event by posting volunteers’ ministry stories on your church
    website, blog, or Facebook page. 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.”
  • 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 clip boards. Have applications and
    background-check forms available at ministry tables.
  • Plan follow-up. 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

This article is excerpted from Children’s Ministry
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Volunteer Expo

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