Archives For Encouragement

A friend posted this on their Facebook the other day . . .

It got me to thinking. Trust is an essential part of children’s ministry . . .

  • parents need to be able to trust us
  • children need to be able to trust us
  • our volunteers need to be able to trust us
  • we need to be able to trust our volunteers
So . . . for the next few weeks, let’s take a look at trust. Trust takes years to build . . .
How do we build trust with parents?
  • if we have not already done so, sit down and develop a child safety policy. Put in writing what you do to make your children’s ministry a safe place. Be sure to include the following – volunteer screening (background check, interview, application) – student to volunteer ratios (including minimum number of volunteers who must be present at all times when children are in the children’s ministry) – policy regarding married couples serving at the same time in the same classroom (do you require an additional unrelated adult?) – minimum age for volunteers – bathroom policy – sick child policy – sign in/pick up policy – driver policy (who can drive children on church activities, do you check their driving record?) These are just a few to get in writing. Make this information available to parents.
  • spend time with the parents – get to know them. Talk to them. Listen to them. Pray with them and for them.
  • do what you say you will do.
  • provide opportunities for parents and volunteers to build a relationship – plan socials, prayer times and anything you can do to encourage communication.

imageIt’s been almost two months since the last time I posted an article in our series on what your volunteers want you to know but might not be telling you.  Last time, we finished up in the category of “Passion.”  So far we’ve covered,

PASSION

  1. Your Volunteers Are Passionate About What They Do!
  2. Your Volunteers Want You To Use Their Passion!
  3. Share Your Vision With Your Volunteers
  4. Give Your Volunteers Autonomy
  5. Volunteers Need The Opportunity for Advancement

Today, we begin a whole new category of things your volunteers want you to know but might not be willing to tell you.  Today, we start talking about SERVICE.

Your volunteers sincerely desire to help you help God’s kids. In order to do that though, they need some things from you, and many volunteers may be unwilling to come right out and ask for these things.  This week, will want to look at:

TRUST IN YOUR VOLUNTEERS!!!

It is imperative that you find a way to trust the people you have working for you.  Your volunteers are there to help you out.  If you don’t trust them, you’ll never be willing to turn parts of your ministry over to them. And, if you can’t turn parts of your ministry over to other people, it will never grow beyond what you are capable of accomplishing all by yourself.  In other words, if you can’t trust you volunteers, you are dooming your ministry to be a one-man show.

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Remembering Your Volunteers

Lynda Freeman —  September 19, 2011

EDITOR’S NOTE: At Kidmin1124, we would like to welcome Lynda Freeman to our community of writers.  Please visit our Author Page to learn more about Lynda.

imageAs you begin your new school year of ministry this fall, pause for a moment and consider your volunteers.  Here are some ideas.

1. First of all, take a moment to thank God for sending the workers! I love the way the NCV translates Matthew 9:38:

“Pray to the Lord, who owns the harvest, that he will send more workers to gather his harvest.”

The harvest is God’s and if we ask, He will send us the workers we need to gather His harvest! Be sure to take time to thank Him for doing so!

2. Take time to thank your volunteers, too. Tell them “thank you”! Walk right up to your volunteers this Sunday and tell them thank you for giving of their time and themselves to the children and to the Lord! Send them a note – hand written – at least once a quarter and take advantage of resources such as DaySpring’s free e-cards – http://ecards.dayspring.com/ecards/ – send these to your computer savvy volunteers to brighten their day, too!

3. Make a point of sharing with others how thankful you are for your volunteers!

Show them you are thankful for them, too! Pay attention! Notice! Is a volunteer ill, or do they have a child who is home sick with the flu or some other illness? Take them a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup . . . or find someone in your church who makes the most amazing homemade chicken noodle soup and ask them if they would be willing to make some for a volunteer in need! Spread the fun around and find ways for others in your church to have the opportunity to show their appreciation to your volunteers, too!

5. Most importantly of all, pray for your volunteers! Make it a regular part of what you do every day. Pray for them. Pray for them. Pray for them! Make this your prayer for your volunteers as you being your Fall ministry to children –

5 Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and glory depend on God; my strong rock, my refuge, is in God. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge.  Selah 11 God has spoken once; I have heard this twice: strength belongs to God, 12 and faithful love belongs to You, LORD. For You repay each according to his works. [Psalm 62:6-8,11,12, HCSB]

Here is a Prayer for your volunteers –

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In part one of this series, we looked at how to identify a dying program, and in part two we examined how to breathe life into a dying program if it still had some life left in it. Now we are going to look at how to kill a program once its season has ended.

First, let’s remember what Ecclesiastes 3:1 says; Continue Reading…

Ok, I wrote the first two parts of this 3 part series a year ago. I promised that this would be a three part series, but life got really busy and I never wrote the final piece to this series.  Since so much time has passed, I thought I would do a bit of review before diving into the third and final installment.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that there is a season for everything. This is true of our programs as well. We have to take care that our programs and events don’t turn into “sacred cows” that go on even after they have stopped being effective.  In part one of this series, we looked at how to identify when a program, ministry, or event was coming to the end of its season. We looked at four P’s: Continue Reading…

AdvanceIt’s been a few weeks since I did an installment in the series of things your volunteers want you to know.  We have been dealing with issues of Passion.  So far in the series, we have covered:

  1. Your Volunteers Are Passionate About What They Do!
  2. Your Volunteers Want You To Use Their Passion!
  3. Share Your Vision With Your Volunteers
  4. Give Your Volunteers Autonomy

Today we will look at our fifth and final point in the category of passion:

Your Volunteers Need the Opportunity for Advancement

Along with autonomy, your volunteers want a chance for advancement. You should constantly be evaluating your volunteers’ strengths and weaknesses with an eye towards finding ways to give them more responsibility and more authority.

Do you have a Sunday School teacher who has been in your ministry faithfully for 10 years? Find out if she would like to plan the teaching time for next Summer’s VBS. Ask him if he’d like to be a coach for other Sunday School teachers. Do you have a small group leader who just has an amazing way with kids? Ask him if he would be willing to put on a training seminar for your other volunteers.  Do you have a volunteer who seems to take care of the “little things” before you even think about them?  Ask her to serve an administrative role in your ministry.

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In everyone’s life, they have a handful of life changing experiences.  If you volunteer in children’s ministry, I can almost guarantee that that will be one of them.  Here’s a short list of ways that volunteering in children’s ministry has changed my life and might change yours (some lighthearted and others not so much):

  1. You’ll find yourself humming along to Yancy and Hillsong kids at random times during the week instead of whatever music you grew up with.
  2. You’ll start watching Phineas & Ferb even if you don’t have kids – or when they’re not there if you do.
  3. You will become a “hugger” even if you weren’t before.
  4. You will come to understand why kids hold a special place in the kingdom of God.
  5. You will learn more (both in terms of width and depth) of the nature of God.
  6. You will understand your Bible better from being forced to figured out how to present it to kids in a way that they can understand but which won’t water it down.
  7. Your prayer life will deepen both as you pray wisdom to teach and as you pray for the kids in your ministry.
  8. You will find out that exhaustion can be absolutely exhilarating.
  9. You will find yourself broken to the point of tears over things that young children must endure.
  10. You’ll learn more about different allergies and the ingredients to different snacks than you ever wanted to know.
  11. You will learn how to make up a game at the drop of a hat to keep kids engaged.
  12. You will learn to laugh at yourself.
  13. You will see the grace of God in the heart of a child. Continue Reading…

The Nov/Dec issue of K! Magazine will be devoted to “Creativity.” They’ve got so many ideas of what the want to include that it’s going to be 20% BIGGER than their regular issues! I know that I am excited about getting my copy!  For this groundbreaking article, which will also be available in their new digital format, K! Magazine wants YOUR creative ideas.  In the Nov/Dec issue, there will be a special pull-out “centerfold” with 10 incredibly creative ideas of how ministry to kids is being done.  Each of the 10 chosen ideas will receive $170 of merchandise from KidzMatter!  As an added benefit to me, if you mention that you saw this here on Kidmin1124, they will publish the name of this blog along with your name and idea.  Let’s show them that the readers here at Kidmin1124 are the most creative kidmin workers out there.

Here is the information K! Magazine sent to me:

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Saying Thank You Rocks

Wendy Douglas —  June 27, 2011

 Two of the most powerful words that you can say as a leader in children’s ministry are “Thank You.”

There are so many ways that we can say thank you to our volunteers from cards to gifts to saying it out loud.

Here is one way that I think is incredible:

Message from the Children

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If you spend any length of time volunteering in children’s ministry, transition is inevitable. That might mean a new Children’s Pastor, a new curriculum, new volunteers, implementing new rules, or a new position. When these things happen, there is a transition period moving from the previous to the next. This time of transition will be what you make it. Most people are resistant to change, but in children’s ministry we have to keep moving forward which means that change will happen.

Here are a few ways to make your transition time easier:

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