Thursday, March 24, 2016

Absolutely More Fun Than a Barrel of Monkeys . . . Encouraging & Supporting Our Volunteers!

I know when you are serving in Children's Ministry there is no shortage of things for you to do, but one area which tends to be overlooked is taking time to encourage and support your volunteers! Volunteer encouragement and support are two very important parts of effective Children's Ministry and have always been two of my favorite parts of Children's Ministry, too! 

Your church and my church have each been gifted with volunteers who faithfully serve in the various areas of our ministries. While these people certainly do not serve for our thanks, it absolutely is appropriate to take the time to thank them! I have always enjoyed the ministry of appreciation - what could possibly be more fun than taking the time to thank and encourage those who serve as volunteers in our churches? There are many ways to thank and encourage your volunteers, so today and tomorrow I will look at a couple ways you can do this!
So, let's begin with looking at just one fun area of volunteer encouragement . . . encourage by providing a mailbox for each volunteer! I found letter stackers from our local office supply store were ideal to use as mailboxes as they could be placed in each classroom, tagged with the volunteer’s name on a mailing label and even stacked on top of each other. Every other week I put a newsletter in their boxes and then the weeks in-between newsletters I put a little surprise in the boxes. This is a great way to show your volunteers, in a tangible way, they were thought of each week.

Encourage by providing little “surprises” each week, every other week or at least once a month! I’m including a few possible ideas for surprises to get you started!
  1. Purchase small post-it-notes for each volunteer and tag with, “We’re stuck on you!”
  2. Give each volunteer a pen or pencil with a tag that says, “You’ve got the ‘write’ stuff! We’re glad to have you as part of our Ministry team!"
  3. Give each teacher a banana and tag with, “Our ‘bunch’ wouldn’t be the same without you! We’re so glad you’re part of our Ministry Team!”
  4. Give each volunteer a Riesen’s Chocolate and tag with, “There are so many ‘riesens’ we are thankful you are part of our Ministry Team!”
Encourage parents and kids to leave notes of appreciation in their volunteer's "mailboxes", too. :^)

What do you do to support and encourage your volunteers?  Please plan to join me as we talk about how to help our volunteers know they are truly appreciated! Please also take a moment to "like" us on Facebook if you haven't already, and tell people you know about us, so they can join in our conversations!

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