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5 Steps to Recruiting Long-Term Kids Ministry Volunteers

February 7, 2024 jill Blog
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Recruiting kids ministry volunteers is one of the most important ways you can invest in your church community. The volunteers plant the seed for a safe, loving community that grows for years to come.

Your kids ministry volunteers disciple the youngest and most impressionable members of your church. These relationships require time and devotion. Routine, stability, and consistency establish trust that will open children to the message your church proclaims.

Your church must believe in this ministry as much as you do. When it comes to the kids in your church, it truly does take a village to raise them!

Here are five ways you can recruit kids ministry volunteers who will stay:

  1. Share the purpose and mission.

Your church body has to know the heart behind the role. More than the hours, location, or qualifications, potential volunteers need to hear the vision the role supports.

Otherwise, how can you expect people to volunteer their weekend just to make sure the fifth graders are served a snack? This vision should appeal to your church’s core mission and values, reminding members that the church is offering them ways to serve the Kingdom with every hand the church puts to work.

One way you can communicate a clear purpose is by allowing established volunteers, parents, or even children to speak to the congregation about their experiences. This way, the purpose is clear in how people’s lives have already been impacted by this ministry, and members are invited to join in the ongoing ministry for their children.

  1. Trust volunteers with real responsibility.

As church leaders, you have the privilege and duty to delegate, and delegate well. This goes hand in hand with making the purpose clear.

If you entrust your volunteers with the very purpose your church serves, you have to trust them with work that can make a difference. This is the nature of kids ministry — children need personal connection. Their worth is proven to them by consistent investment by adults who know their names and interests.

Now, this is only possible with thorough background checks. Parents trust your judgment. They want their kids to be invested in by worthy role models. Remember that you will receive what you ask for. If you are wasting volunteers’ time with superficial responsibility, you will attract short-term, unmotivated volunteers. If you entrust your volunteers with some heavy lifting, you will attract volunteers who are invested in the children and purpose long-term.

  1. Make the structure clear and organized.

New volunteers will step into a system that may seem intimidating at first. “What do I do?” “Where does this go?” and “Who can I ask about this?” are all questions that will flood their minds in their first weeks of serving.

Organized and simplified spreadsheets and maps can show new volunteers exactly what these answers are with one glance. Photos of how the room should look at the end of the day, who to go to and where to find them, and responsibilities updated depending on who is serving that week. These resources allow volunteers to quickly gain a sense of ownership over what they do have control over, rather than being overwhelmed by what they do not know.

  1. Recruit individuals, not crowds.

Relational recruiting will be one of your most effective models for recruiting valuable volunteers. Your staff is your greatest asset when it comes to identifying individuals. Your leaders must be deeply in tune with the church’s needs and passionate about filling them. Encourage your leaders to have several sincere conversations each Sunday to get to know the members of the church.

Your church staff should also know what to look for to identify people who demonstrate leadership, friendship, and authenticity. Potential kids ministry volunteers will have a heart for children’s wellness, enthusiasm, creativity, and ability to commit. These traits will capture the attention and affection of the children in your church, drawing them to hear the message your volunteers will share. Recruiting this way will ensure your volunteers already feel seen and known when they join the team, and their strengths are best being used to serve the Kingdom.

  1. Maintain a unified team of volunteers.

Unity attracts, and when you continue to invest in your volunteers’ well-being, you create a unified team that serves together. Regularly set aside time to encourage a standard of excellence and equip your volunteers to follow through. Make it clear how the volunteers are serving the overall mission of the church, especially as the process changes.

Everything you did to recruit them needs to be maintained with personal relationships and by consistently revealing the “why” of what you ask them to do. If you leave them behind, they will leave the role behind.

Regularly train, encourage, appreciate, and assess volunteers to maintain the quality of the ministry and their service. Newcomers looking in will see a real community of believers serving with purpose. They will notice how involved the volunteers are in the children’s milestones. The continual purpose-driven mindset of the volunteer team will naturally invite people to get involved.

These five tips will help ensure your church members can see that your kids ministry is worthwhile and purposeful. The children and families in your church will soon reap the benefits of your intentional volunteer recruiting efforts. The volunteers you welcome will be the mentors and disciple-makers for your youngest church members!

This information is courtesy of Vanderbloemen, which serves Christian organizations through executive search, compensation, succession, and diversity consulting,