People are busy! It is hard enough to get people to volunteer, so how can we ask them to serve every week? Weekends are busy with family commitments, or time to relax and sleep in. Volunteering weekly will be the most rewarding for volunteers but how can we get them to understand that?
Have you read The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams? This book has moved into the position of “Top 5 Must Have” books for Kids Ministry. It is LOADED with information.
My friend Dale Hudson is the author of this amazing book. This guy has tons of Kids Ministry Experience and really knows his stuff when it comes to kids, volunteers, recruiting, training and motivating. His blog is loaded with resources and ideas on many different kids ministry related topics. He has a humble spirit and an amazing servant’s heart. I have visited the church many times where he was on staff as the Kids Ministry Director and my kids loved being in the kids program there. He is an international conference speaker and trainer, and I have learned so much from this guy and his experience. He is the author of several kids ministry books, and his most recent, The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams is one of my favourites.
When people sign up to volunteer in our Kids Rooms, we want to equip them with all the info they need to get started, and do their job well. It can be a little overwhelming for a new volunteer to try to remember everything, so we created some booklets for each room that give them the basics to get started.
Sometimes the number of things that need to be done in Kids Ministry can be overwhelming. How do you balance the urgent things with things that should be a priority? So many times the urgent can take a lot of our time, but they are not necessarily things that are a priority. A Kids Ministry To Do List might be just the thing you are looking for. It’s not just any to do list. It’s specifically designed with things in mind that are important for a Kids Ministry Leader.
Sometimes I like to show my volunteers a video clip to illustrate a point. Despicable Me is a great movie that shows an example of Gru doing a not so great job as a dad, and then later, a much better job as a dad. This illustration can be used when it comes to volunteers in Kids Ministry. These two Despicable Me video clips illustrate how volunteers can own their role instead of rent it.
When I think of volunteers, this is the picture that I have in my head. Volunteers are in different stages. Some are new, or come occasionally while others are the committed people that do the majority of the work. As I look at these circles, here are some thoughts on how to find kids ministry leaders:
There are some things that only the leader of a team can do. Bill Hybels talks about the gift of ENERGY that a leader can give to their team & the difference it will make. In this video he talks about going from feeling anxious & overwhelmed to feeling focused and energized on the leadership goals that were in front of him.
If you want things to run smoothly in Kids Ministry, it’s probably a good idea to spend some time training your team of volunteers. However, usually when you mention the word volunteer training, people’s schedules suddenly fill up quickly. Here are some tips that can help you be successful at creating a volunteer training event that people will want to come to:
I went out for lunch with my family after church on Sunday to celebrate the last few days of freedom before school started. While we were eating, I couldn’t help but listen in on the conversation happening at the table next to us. The lady was telling her friend about her experience growing up in a church. The now grandmother age lady recalled a building with hard pews that were uncomfortable to sit in, a pastor who spoke long, and a Sunday morning experience that was extremely boring. The religious experience was all about rules & consequences for breaking the rules. When she was old enough, she decided that she had no interest in this thing called church. The church has a challenge currently facing them. How do we keep kids from leaving church when they are grown up?
Keeping vision in front of volunteers is one of the most important things you will do as a Kids Ministry Leader. Reminding people over and over of why they do what they do. On my most recent trip to Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, I was reminded of something that they do to keep the vision in front of their volunteers. Many of their kids ministry rooms have a picture wall. The pictures are specific to the ministry that happens in that room.
This is one of my favorite Disney pictures. I have it framed and it’s part of my office decor. Before Walt Disney World in Orlando came to be, it was a bunch of swampland. Walt Disney had a vision of what could be, and he had a big job ahead of him to communicate that vision to his team. Walt had a vision of the future, and he held on to that vision until it came to be.
What do you picture in your head when you hear someone say that they teach Sunday School? Some people have a memory of being in a Sunday School class when they were a child, and some have never experienced this. When it comes to teaching kids, there are various methods of teaching that can help a child learn in a way that works for them.
This is one of my favourite books. Creating Magic. It’s a book about leadership. It’s all about people. Here’s a quote from the inside cover,
“It’s not the magic that makes it work, it’s the way we work that makes the magic.”
Leading a team is part of being a leader in kids ministry. Lee Cockerell outlines some lessons that can help us as we lead a kids ministry team.
Every time I go to Walt Disney World I notice how welcome they make you feel. Everything from greeting you when you arrive at Magical Express at the airport, to the coach bus, to arriving at the resort, to arriving at the parks. They do a great job of making you feel welcome. But one thing I didn’t expect was for them to be just as intentional to say Thank you when we left. Not only do they do a great job of welcoming you when you arrive, they are intentional about saying goodbye.
I have started reading this book. Disney U. It’s loaded with great information. Disney believes that if they treat their employees (aka Cast Members) well, then they will in turn treat their customers (aka guests) well. When it comes to training volunteers, I think we can learn a few things from Doug Lipp’s book.
Summer is in full swing & we have lots happening on Sunday mornings at our church. We have some of our regular volunteers as well as some parents and occasional volunteers helping in Kids Ministry during the summer. I know that a lot of people could be out doing things on the weekends, especially when the weather is nice, so I really want people to know how much I appreciate them & the time they are taking to serve the kids and their families this summer. This is a great time to send them a Thank you card.