the shape of leadership

Three Keys to Recruiting Volunteers for Children’s Ministries

Sign up a surplus of helpers

John Hailes on June 19, 2018

There is one resource every children’s ministry could use more of: volunteers.

It is easy to feel like your church is the only one that needs more volunteers or that your leadership ability is the reason you are lacking in this area. However, even churches with a strong volunteer base sometimes have service times when leaders are scrambling to find children’s volunteers so they can keep rooms open.

Children’s leaders have a great need for volunteer teams. After all, kids’ ministries usually have the most service times during the week and utilize the most rooms in the church.

People come and go, and at times, life gets crazy. Thus, you probably need a surplus of volunteers. Even if you currently have a strong volunteer base, you must constantly recruit more help. Here are three things you can do to expand your pool of volunteers:

Define the Roles

An old mentor of mine used to ask, “If I gave you 100 volunteers today, would you know what to do with them?”

We all know we need people, but do we know specifically the roles we want them to fill? Create a leadership chart for your ministry to discover where you need the most help. As you speak to people in your church, you will be able to figure out which positions could best fit their availability and gifting.

Even if you currently have a strong volunteer base, you must constantly recruit more help.

Make a Clear Pathway

If I attended your church and wanted to volunteer, would it be easy for me to understand the process?

Would it be obvious where I should sign up? Do you have applications printed for interested people to fill out? Do you have information on what roles are available? Do you have a training process? What rules, restrictions and legalities would I need to be aware of to become a children’s worker?

Having a clear pathway can lead people through the process and help ease any anxiety or uncertainty they might have.

Capitalize on One-Time Events

I don’t believe everyone should serve in kids’ ministry. I’m not even convinced that all parents should do so. We want the best qualified people on our team.

Events like VBS are great opportunities to engage volunteers in the ministry before you ask them to commit to long-term service. Such events let you identify people who are passionate about children’s ministry and good at interacting with kids.

This experience may propel some volunteers to sign up for your children’s ministry. Conversely, serving in a one-time children’s event can also reveal to a volunteer as well as the leaders that this may not be the best fit.

There are many other factors to consider when recruiting volunteers. However, recruiting more people than you feel you currently need can certainly alleviate the pressure of having to close a classroom because you have no one processed, trained and ready to step into action.

This article was originally posted on, and is adapted from, the Healthy Church Kids blog.

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