Let’s be real. Though super fun and fulfilling, being a leader or pastor in Children’s Ministry isn’t always the easiest. You’re dealing with kids’ behavior and attitudes, parents’ involvement and concerns, and volunteers who frequently back out at the last minute.
But why are Kids Ministry volunteers inconsistent in the first place? It could be any number of things. Some volunteers are serving in the wrong ministry (or the wrong place within Kids Ministry). Some honestly already have too much on their plate and they overcommitted. Some simply haven’t found their passion or calling yet.
Whether they dislike all of the excitement, color, and silliness of Children’s Ministry, or they feel ill-equipped to lead a group of kids, let’s talk about how to get consistent volunteers so your ministry can not only run smoothly but have the most Kingdom impact on the families you and your volunteers encounter each week.
A church-y response, but this is (or should be) an obvious solution. However, sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and business of ministry that we tend to put prayer on the back burner, when it really should be the forefront.
Set aside time to seek God about who He is leading to be a part of the ministry. Ask Him to highlight people that would be a good fit. And continue in prayer for those leaders that are already involved.
Volunteers will be more consistent if they have a passion for seeing children grow in their walk with God. If they feel called to make a difference in the lives of young people, they will be more inclined to continue serving, even when life gets busy or things come up. They’ll make ministry a priority.
Another important aspect is to have volunteers placed in the position they feel called to. If someone loves pouring into the lives of fifth graders, don’t place them in the nursery with crying babies. You will want to get to know your volunteers during the onboarding process to discover where they find the most passion and can be their best for that group of kiddos. Then, continue checking up on them throughout their time of service to find out if they are still enjoying the position they’re in.
Utilize a Scheduler
Keep your lessons, volunteers, and calendar organized with a Kids Scheduler like the one from Sharefaith. They will feel equipped to take on Sundays with access to the lessons ahead of time. Leaders will feel confident leading, rather than feeling overwhelmed and trying to figure it out the day-of. They’ll also be able to see their schedule to know which days and services they’re volunteering for. Have fewer no-shows because your team will know when, where, and what they’ll be doing. You can even send email updates as reminders.
Make it Fun
Not very many people will want to stick around a ministry if it feels like a job. Of course, ministry is work and it’s time consuming, but when it’s fun, it doesn’t feel that way. Children’s Ministry seems to exist with automatic “fun” built right in, that’s because, well, kids are fun! But think about ways to engage your volunteers that bring out the kid in them as well.
Do games and activities specifically for volunteers. Have a monthly prize for a standout leader. Host a competition between classes or services. Church shouldn’t be boring, and neither should volunteering to serve kids.
Another way to encourage consistency is to continue to connect with those serving in your ministry. If they are onboarded, trained, and serving, don’t think that they can just survive without any follow up.
Frequently reach out to volunteers. Check up on them. Pray for them. Ask how you can serve them as they serve the kids. They will want to stick around if they feel cared for, appreciated, and poured into. Utilizing the features in a Church Management System, like emailing or texting the volunteers on a regular basis could make all the difference.
Many people desire to serve in ministry for the community. Simply only attending church on the weekend often still leaves members craving more connection. If you can create an environment where volunteers feel like they are part of a community, they’ll be more likely to consistently show up every week. They’ll build friendships and accountability and feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.
More Than Teaching
Yes, most people think of Kids Ministry volunteering to simply include being a teacher or small group leader on Sundays. As you know, Children’s Ministry consists of many administrative tasks along with prep work. Encourage those who might be burnt out on being in a classroom to help with checking families in. For the administratively gifted folks, invite them to serve during the week with following up or organizing. There is also opportunity for lesson plan prep.
Here’s What to Do Next…
Have a flourishing Kids Ministry by utilizing these tips to keep consistency with your volunteers. It will help them do what they are called to do and in turn will help the kids and families. For more support with mobilizing consistent volunteers, check out this free eBook: The Practical Guide to Recruiting and Retaining Kidmin Volunteers.