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A male children's ministry leader talking to a female volunteer.
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The Seven Specific Things that Volunteers Need From You

Volunteers are looking for a leader with vision…


Here’s what I know about people: Give them a cause and a hero — and they’ll rally around them both. As a children’s ministry leader, you have a cause. And guess what? Jesus wants to use you to be the hero. There are seven things volunteers are looking for in you as their heroic leader.

1. Volunteers are looking for a leader with vision.

People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Have you ever noticed that losing teams don’t sell much merchandise? Everyone wants to identify with a winner. When you show up with a God-inspired vision, people will hook up and run with it.

2. Volunteers want a leader who possesses strength.

Second Timothy 2:1 says, “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” What this is telling us is that we can be confident in our calling as children’s ministry leaders. God equips those he calls. We must possess the strength Jesus gives. Remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!

3. Volunteers want a leader with a plan.

If a general has a battle plan and a successful coach has a game plan, why do we in children’s ministry think we can succeed without a plan?

4. Volunteers want excellence.

No one wants to be identified with shoddy work. Volunteers know that their attachment to your style of ministry is also a reflection on them. Help them shine!

5. Volunteers want to be informed.

Communication is a must. Hosea 4:6 tells us “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Do your team members know your vision, purpose, plan, and structure? Communication is hard work because it doesn’t happen on its own. I use brochures, newsletters, calendars, meetings, email, and Web sites to communicate.

6. Volunteers want to be a part of a real movement of God.

One of the most-asked questions I hear is, “How do you get parents to not think of your ministry as babysitting?” That’s simple: Don’t babysit! Are kids growing closer to Christ in your ministry? Are children lovers of the Word? Do they live what they learn? Don’t play church, have church!

7. Volunteers want a leader who doesn’t rely on past accomplishments.

An up-to-date leader points others to their next level. Keep pointing the way and setting the pace.

Be the leader others want to follow.

Jim Wideman is author of Volunteers That Stick (Group Publishing, Inc.). 

For more great articles like this in every issue, subscribe today to Children’s Ministry Magazine.


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The Seven Specific Things that Volunt...

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