One of the most difficult jobs in children's and youth ministry is recruiting a full staff of volunteers who are not only joyfully motivated, but also adequately trained and equipped. And one of the best ways for pastors and ministry leaders to recruit a team of dedicated, Jesus-loving, God-honoring volunteers during this time is to diligently…
- Inspire them with a big vision for what they are doing and why they are doing it. Give them big reasons why investing in the discipleship of children and youth is so important.
- Carefully and prayerfully recruit volunteers, and then fully equip, train, and encourage them every step of the way.
In a recent Truth78 round table discussion, David Michael addressed this important issue. Here are few points he made:
- There's a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about what children's ministry is…Bring people together in the church around the mission. [Talk about] why Sunday school exists, why children's ministry exists, why the nursery exists in this church.
- You pray with vision, you motivate with vision, and then you evaluate your success based on mission and vision.
- …be picky and, and don't lower your standards, especially on character and spiritual quality, because just getting a warm body in there is not going to serve you long term. And it's going to undermine the credibility of the ministry. I try to explore with people their reasons for being involved in children's ministry. I look for, and even encourage, a sense of calling to serve children.
- We created job descriptions for every position within our Sunday school, and one of the things I learned in that is, by parsing out the responsibilities, you can attract people who otherwise would not be interested.
- It’s important to recruit men into a female-dominated ministry. Adding men into the ministry is one way to raise the significance of the ministry.
At Truth78, we know that recruiting, equipping, and training volunteers can be huge endeavor. That is why we have developed some specific tools and resources to help you.
How to Effectively Recruit, Equip, and Encourage Ministry Volunteers
- “Recruiting, Equipping, & Retaining Volunteers” (a six-page PDF outlining all the basics)
- “Recruiting, Equipping, & Retaining Volunteers” (an audio seminar by Pastor Gil McConnell)
- Utter Dependency on God through Prayer (a helpful booklet as you ground your endeavors in prayer)
Inspiring Volunteers with a Big Vision
- Send the short article “Sunday School as Liberation” by John Piper to your volunteers.
- Use the four-part short video series “Foundations for God-Centered Children’s Ministry” as part of your volunteer training.
- Encourage your volunteers to watch “Declaring the Whole Counsel of God to the Next Generation” by Pastor Mark Vroegop.
- Give your teachers a copy of Zealous: 7 Commitments for the Discipleship of the Next Generations, and/or direct them to the seven-part blog series that highlights each commitment.
Additional Equipping and Role-Specific Training for Your Volunteers
- Make use of our free “Core Training Series.” While nothing can replace a well-thought-out, hands-on training program by church leadership, the Core Training Series can provide every ministry volunteer with basic help to flourish in their roles. Ideally, your church can use these tools as part of a larger, ongoing intentional plan to prepare and support volunteers. Print or email any documents for your volunteers that correspond to their particular roles.
Peruse and recommend other training seminars on our website.