Heartprints

Recruiting Volunteers – Timing is Everything!

I travel a lot for ministry.  I shouldn’t, but I eat way too many meals in my car.  I know that I should stop and eat something good for me, but too often I’d rather be home sooner, so I hit the closest drive through.  I’ve even added an office-sized wastebasket to the back seat of my car to handle all the trash and Starbucks cups that accumulate after several days on the road.  But when I finally pull into my driveway, the last thing I want to do is empty my trash.  I want to see my wife, my kids, or my granddaughter who might be in the house.  But I’ve learned that the best time to clean out my car is right when I get home, for a lot of reasons.  

When is the best time to recruit volunteers for your children’s ministry?  

I travel a lot for ministry.  I shouldn’t, but I eat way too many meals in my car.  I know that I should stop and eat something good for me, but too often I’d rather be home sooner, so I hit the closest drive through.  I’ve even added an office-sized wastebasket to the back seat of my car to handle all the trash and Starbucks cups that accumulate after several days on the road.  But when I finally pull into my driveway, the last thing I want to do is empty my trash.  I want to see my wife, my kids, or my granddaughter who might be in the house.  But I’ve learned that the best time to clean out my car is right when I get home, for a lot of reasons.  

When is the best time to recruit volunteers for your children’s ministry?  

I was intrigued by a recent conversation with a childrens ministry leader.  His “end of the year celebration” was a huge success.  Kids and their accomplishments were highlighted.  Leaders saw the results of a year’s work.  They saw God’s work in the lives of the young people in their ministry.

Two key leaders had already decided to quit.  Seeing the joy in the hearts of the kids and the spiritual impact a year of ministry had on each child caused them to reconsider.  After the evening was over, they renewed their commitment to ministry.  

We absolutely should be sharing the blessing of serving with kids continually.  But, my friend Brion made me think about the timing of recruiting.  Recruiting at the beginning of the ministry season is “filling positions.”  Recruiting in the middle of the year is “filling holes.”  Recruiting at the end of the year is asking volunteers to look at what God has done in the past, and to be a part of it in the future.   

As your ministry season winds down, remember to highlight God’s work in the lives of kids, and ask others to join you in the journey.  Take the opportunity to ignite a passion in your leaders.  Serving God by serving kids brings blessing.  They’ll be glad they did.

PS:  As I write this, I am at a meeting with Children’s ministry leaders from all over the country.  I asked several of them for one sentence of advice for those of us who recruit volunteers.  Here’s a sampling of what they said:

Ask them:
“Everyone serving now should pray and ask God to show them someone to invite to serve.” – Curt – Arkansas
“I want you to assist me in reaching the next generation for Christ.” – Jeff – Montana
“Would you like to help kids enter eternity with Jesus Christ?”  Carroll – Arkansas
“Come serve with us for two hours a week and affect kids lives for Christ, and for eternity.” – Tom – California

What we should do:
Pray, ask others to pray, and then ask people face to face.  Gerald – Tennesee   
Sit in back of the church and look around at the people.  As God directs you, pray them into their position. – Joe – California
Talk to them personally, [as opposed to a general call in the bulletin or from the pulpit.] – Marti – California

 

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    SonShine

    Volunteering
    I totally agree with your post and such great tidbits of advice! I wonder what advice you might give to someone like me who is seeking to reach volunteers who can work via the internet. I don’t see them face to face and have found that their commitment is not as lasting.