If you have spent more than a week in Kidmin you know that kidmin is more than just ministering to kids. As a Children’s Pastor I spend more time recruiting, training, replacing, scheduling, and ministering to those who serve kids than I do ministering to actual kids. Sometimes I wonder if I should change my title to Servants Minister, Volunteer Minister, Pastor of Volunteer Ministry, and the list could on and one. Over time God has given me a few basic things that I attempt to focus on for managing, leading, and recruiting those who serve Kids at Mars Hill Baptist Church. I don’t claim to be an expert or a know-it-all on volunteers and there are many who hold much more wisdom than I on the subject. I am still learning and still making mistakes but somehow by God’s Amazing Grace I am still leading. So here we go.
1. Understand that its more about church culture than it is about fancy recruiting methods. It’s truly a God thing. A Servant type culture is developed over years of ministry by many who have went before you. This includes every area of ministry, from Senior Pastor to the pre-school ministry. If your church has a strong Servant Type mentality then it won’t matter how great the need is and how horrible you are at recruiting you will always have the help you need. On the other hand, if your church has a weak Servant type mentality, then it won’t matter how great your are at recruiting, or how much you plead and beg, you will never have the help you need. That takes us to number 2.
“God, either send me more people to serve, or give me the strength, wisdom, and energy to handle it”
It has been my experience that He will often give you both. He knows our needs even before we ask.
3. Know your needs! Know how many people you need, where you need them, when you need, and what you need them to do. I have been so guilty of asking for help them God sends me someone and I can’t give them detailed information about what I need them to do. It’s so much better to know the answers to these questions off the top of your head or have a list handy so when that time comes you are fully prepared. If your not gonna do number 3, Don’t Do number 2…. (its OK to laugh here, I did as I wrote it)
4. Pour into those who are already serving. Sometimes we focus on what we DON’T have, we forget what we DO have. Take time to thank those who are serving already and be attentive to their needs. It doesn’t have to be big just genuine. Figure out a way to appreciate them without spending money on them. Ask God what they need. He knows their needs even before you ask!
5. Empower Others. The best recruiting tool is to empower those who are serving to reach out and encourage others to serve as well. You don’t always have to be the one asking for help. As a matter of fact, one way to get alienated is to only engage others when you need something. Do others run when they see you coming? Let others join the fun and just see what God will do.
I want to remind you that the thoughts listed above are not full proof and I stand before you knowing that I too need to improve in every area that I have mentioned. At the end of the day, do what you can do, and let God do what only He can do.
Children and Family Pastor