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.
- 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
- 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
This article is excerpted from Children’s Ministry
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