Second Step: Recruiting the Right People for the Right Job
How you go about recruiting people will determine what kind of response you get. As we discussed at the beginning, begging is the lowest form of recruiting and generally produces a handful of guilty people who commit to help and end up stepping down within 2 to 3 months.
I've found that focusing on the gifts and talents people have and then placing people in areas of service that allow them to use those gifts and talents is one of the most effective ways to attract and keep long term volunteers.
Be specific when recruiting volunteers. Divide your Children’s Ministry into four basic areas of service that people can clearly see where they may volunteer to serve and what will be asked of them. Here are some suggestions:
Teaching – Ministering to, teaching, and mentoring children.
Those who prepare and teach lessons, and maintain classroom order during services.
Those who mentor and minister to the children one on one
Those who follow up and visit children who have been absent, sick, or first time visitors.
Those who commit to ongoing training.
Those who will become lead teachers and commit to mentor other teachers.
Registration – Sign in, transition, hall way monitoring, and child safety.
Those who assist in the signing in and out of children
Those who monitor the hallways and assist in supervising roaming children
Those who greet and give direction and information to new comers
Those who oversee the data entry and maintaining of all info and databases.
Setup before service and pack up after service.
Administration – Miscellaneous office work.
Those who assist with filing, data entry, and paperwork.
Those who assist in placing orders, P.O. requests, and purchasing.
Those who assist with copies, mail outs, flyers, and emails.
Those who answer phone calls and take messages
Those who are responsible for ordering, organizing, distributing, and maintaining all supplies needed.
Support – Special needs and Special Events.
Décor Team – Responsible for decorating all rooms and keeping bulletin boards current
Prayer Team – Responsible for supporting leadership, teachers, volunteers, and families through prayer.
Cleaning Team – Responsible for maintaining cabinets, classrooms, bathrooms, and Hallways.
Special Events Team – Responsible for creating, planning, advertising, and hosting all special events and activities throughout the year.
There are many very creative ways to recruit people to become a part of your team without resorting to begging. Here are just a few:
- You have to develop and believe in your mission statement and vision and then present it in a way that will stir the hearts of those whom God has been speaking to. People want to be a part of something with purpose, and what is more worthwhile than reaching children with the message of Jesus Christ? I have found that the most effective way to attract and keep good volunteers is to have a defined purpose in place for why you are doing what you are doing. Once you've established the vision and purpose of the childrens ministry cast it often in various creative ways. Bullitin boards, T. shirts, flyers, posters and signs, mail outs, etc.
- Make sure there is order and structure to what you are doing, offer clear communication as to what their role will be, and be passionate about ministering to kids. When you have a healthy children’s ministry people will want to be a part of it.Your volunteers will become the best recruiting tool you have because they will be the ones who go out and recruit for you just by the way they talk about the children’s ministry.
- Keep the needs you have before God in prayer and as He lays people upon your heart go and speak with them personally. The #1 reason most people do not help is because they have never been asked. When you ask, do so creatively through skits, videos, songs, etc. Just DON'T BEG!
- Keep the congregation informed as to what is happening in children’s ministry by sending a "How God moved in Childrens Ministry this month" email to your Sr. Pastor. Fill it with good reports about salvations, baptisms, and how kids lives have been changed. If possible have the children do something special during service at least twice a year. Immediately follow this with an invitation e to be a part of what God is doing in the children’s ministry. Invite interested people to come and talk with you, or pass out some forms they can fill out and turn in at offering time.
- Put up a neat, colorful looking bulletin board in a high traffic area letting people know about upcoming events and what areas they could be of assistance. (Have forms available that are in a folder stapled to the board that they can fill out and turn in.)
- Choose a 5th Sunday in the year and honor all those who help in the ministry of the church. Show a video of kids saying "thanks" to their teachers and talking about how they've influenced their choices and lives. After the service, have tables set up with information about each ministry within the church. Invite those who are not yet involved to stop by the ministry table they would be interested in getting involved in.
- Offer “part time” positions that do not require any amount of preparation or teaching, such as “hall monitors, registration assistants, Snack distributors, resource coordinators, story tellers, etc. You’ll be surprised how much time it will free up for the teachers to be able to focus more on the lesson and the class.
- You could even include the youth of your church for some of these tasks. Be sure to lay down clear guidelines & policies when allowing youth to volunteer. You will find basic Youth applications and forms to help you with this under the "FREE STUFF" section. They need to understand that they are committing to work and that helping in children’s ministry is not an excuse to “get out of main service” and hang with friends. Refer to the policies and procedures section that lists guidelines you may want to consider when recruiting youth.