Volunteers: THE BACKBONE of any ministry! And kids ministry is no exception. In fact, in my opinion, volunteers are needed in kids ministry more than anywhere else! I have many, many reasons for believing that, but that’s for another blog post. Today, I want to talk about how to actually get those perfect people for your team so you can be successful. Success is defined by the number of lives reached for Christ. So the more people involved in that, the better.
~Let me preface this by saying, I have only served in relatively small churches where I was able to connect with everyone at some point. I realize, if you are at a larger church, this would change quite a bit. And as God is preparing me for a bigger ministry, I will update in the future how my recruiting has changed or stayed the same.~
The first thing to do is ask yourself the question, “How do I see people?” Do you see them as individuals that God has uniquely gifted and placed in your path to serve alongside, or do you simply see people as a means to an end?
Ministry is all about relationships. Jesus formed relationships with each of His disciples. Paul formed relationships with each person he worked with. Ministry happens best in the context of relationships. So if that is indeed the case, how do you see people?
1. Form a Relationship:
I start building a team first by forming relationships with people. I make a point to speak to every person I can and find out how their week went. I invite them to coffee. I ask about their job or their kids. We get to know each other. And from that, we form a bond.
2. Find the Gifting:
The second part of that equation is to look at people as uniquely created and gifted by God, and to really LOOK for the things they do well. Everybody is a 10 at something. Everybody has that one thing they LOVE to do and they do well. So in forming this relationship, I find out what makes them tick, what makes them want to jump out of bed in the morning so they can go do it.
3. Create a Job:
And then I begin thinking about how they could fit into my team. Because people want to be used by God in the things they are good at. They want to be needed. And I have found that EVERY SINGLE GIFT can be used in children’s ministry. Not everyone is a teacher or worship leader. Some people like to talk, so they can greet kids and parents in my check in station. Some love organization, and would be willing to help build spreadsheets for my budget or list of kids or whatever. An art student can be a great room decorator! Maybe a person’s great love is to cook, and could bake snacks each week. Whatever passion a person has, I “create” a place for that to be used. I write a new “job description” for that person’s gift, listing all the things needed or required of that position. And then I make the “ask”.
4. Make the Ask:
If I have done all these steps well – built a great relationship, learned what someone’s passion is, and created a place for that gift to be used – the “ask” is the easy part. I either make a phone call or meet for coffee, and we chat. I let them know how great of a person and friend I think they are, and how I feel they would be a great leader on my kidmin team. I talk about their love for [insert whatever their passion may be] and how I just happen to need someone with that gift to help with this position. I let them know, should they say yes, what they would “GET” to do and how that would help kids hear about and have a relationship with Jesus. I assure them that I would give them some great training so they wouldn’t just be thrown to the wolves. And then, if for some reason they didn’t just love it, they could change their mind and we would still be great friends. It’s a win/win offer that I present to a potential team member.
I have built many teams using this approach. Because when you have a relationship with people, and you see them as individuals, and you are finding out what they love, and you are offering them a chance to use their gifts to do what they love for Jesus, they WANT to join you! You are no longer just filling a spot, but you are strategically placing someone in the best possible position and setting them up for a big WIN! And everybody wants to win!
The mic is yours. Tell me your best team building techniques.