It is a fact of Children's Ministry, you need volunteers. Period. It is also a fact it can be difficult and challenging to find enough volunteers - especially those who are willing to serve more than just one week a month.
So, what do you do? How do you find the volunteers you need? Consider the following . . .
- Pray. Pray. Pray. As I said a couple days ago, Matthew 9 tells us to ask God for the volunteers we need. He cares more than we do if we have the volunteers we need, so pray. Pray. Pray.
- Make it a matter of prayer for each and every group which meets at church - be sure your volunteer needs are included on all church prayer lists.
- Make "table toppers" and send them home with families - list all the classes where you still need volunteers (and be sure your needs reflect appropriate volunteer to children ratios, which are one volunteer for each age of child . . . one volunteers for every three three-year olds, one volunteer for every seven seven-year olds, etc.)
- Plan recruiting drives . . . pick a theme and put posters around your church, plan for flyers in the bulletin, send home notes to parents and grandparents, hand out things like Reisen Chocolate pieces with notes attached which say, "There are so many 'Reisens' we would love to have you join our Children's Ministry Team!" and then info about who to contact.
- Make a list of people you think would "fit" well in your Children's Ministry - people with the gifts of teaching, and personally contact them to ask them to pray about serving.
- When you approach someone to ask them to be a volunteer, do not ask for a decision right away. In fact, ask them to pray about it every day for a week. Then follow up.
- Ask your senior pastor to make an appeal from the pulpit and to stress how valuable Children's Ministry volunteers are - when people hear your senior pastor speak to the need for volunteers, they tend to pay more attention.
- Publicly thank your volunteers - do this on a regular basis, so the church as a whole is able to see how much you value your volunteers.
- Ask a few volunteers to share their testimony about why they serve and how it has brought more joy to their lives.
These are just a few ideas, but one of the biggest and most important things to keep in mind is to never beg and to show enthusiasm. You are not asking people to do something horrible. Quite the opposite. Serving with children is an honor and brings so much delight and joy to the lives of your volunteers! It gives people an opportunity to use the gifts God has given them and to make a real difference in the lives of children . . . a difference which may matter for and last throughout eternity! What else can people do with their time which has this much value?
So, take time to find new volunteers. Enjoy the process and watch to see who God sends to serve!