Saturday, May 12, 2012

Encourage Your Volunteers by Planning a Christmas Open House!

We have been talking about how to plan a ministry of support and encouragement to our volunteers, so today I want to look at another way to tell our volunteers "thank-you"!

Encourage by planning a Christmas open house and invite all your volunteers and spouses (maybe even the kids?!!). Keep it simple, but fun!  Provide cookies, chips. dips, crackers and cheese, deli meats, cheeses and rolls, punch, cocoa, coffee and ??? !!!   Ask crafty people from your church to make ornaments for each teacher. If you talk to area restaurant managers, florists 
and small business owners as most of them will donate gift certificates for a meal, flowers or item from their store - get one for each volunteer and distribute them at the open house as well! Make it a game and place each gift certificate in an envelope. Draw names and then as you do the person may choose if they want to open their certificate or take an opened certificate from someone else - and give them their unopened certificate which they would then open. Play Christmas music and be ready to enjoy an evening of fun! I always held my open houses over two evenings – by doing this my volunteers were able to choose which date worked best for them and nearly all my volunteers were able to attend! My volunteers loved the Christmas Open Houses, but be aware, it takes a considerable amount of planning to pull this off. Over the coming months we will touch bases from time to time to remind you of the things you need to be doing if you want to plan an open house for your volunteers.

There are so many ways, big and small to show appreciation to your volunteers - we've looked at volunteer "mail-boxes", sending birthday cards, notes, providing Prayer Support Partners, "adopting" your volunteers, planning an appreciation dinner and Christmas Open House! As you plan what you will do in your children's ministry, be sure to add in opportunities to show appreciation to your volunteers . . . it is appropriate to thank people who give of themselves and their time to serve in your children's ministry . . . and it is great fun to do so!

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