Usually I would wait to share an idea or event until after it was over, and I could say that it was a success. However, this idea met with such agreement and enthusiasm at our staff meeting this week that I decided to pass it along even though it is still in the concept stage.
I have been thinking about ways to let more people in our congregation know exactly what it is that we do each week in children’s ministry. If they could just see first hand what it is we do and what we accomplish, I am certain that they would all immediately sign up to serve! Well, maybe some of them, at least. One day, my mind wondered to “Take Your Child to Work Day” in which parents take their kids with them to work so that they can see what Mommy and/or Daddy do. Kids get really excited about seeing what their parents do during the day, and parents get to spend quality time with their kids. I began to wonder if there was a way that we could accomplish that same thing on a ministry level at the church. The staff agreed, and we are currently planning to have a “Take Your Friend to Serve Day” sometime in January.
Most of us will concur that when it comes to recruiting, a happy volunteer all ready serving on your team can be your best and most effective voice in recruiting other volunteers. Rather than have the Lead Pastor announce a need and/or plead for children’s ministry volunteers from the pulpit, or printing another spot in the bulletin, what if someone who is serving realizes the value in what they are doing and shared that with a friend? What if they truly understood the importance of what they do to the church, to the members, to the pastors, to parents and to potential Christ followers, and a desire to share that with their piers welled up inside of them? When they talk about how they serve, whether it’s through the nursery, parking cars, or music, what if they get excited about it because they feel like they are making a difference in God’s Kingdom?
As staff members or team leaders, we can encourage our current volunteers to invite their friends to join the team, and some will probably respond to that urging and do just that. But for others, there seems to be two hinderances that keep this approach from working. First, current volunteers may not know how to recruit or what to say to invite others without feeling like they are being pushy or guilting their friends into serving. Second, the friend who may want to just check out what serving would look like, may very well be afraid to step up and volunteer for fear that they may not like it but will feel obligated to continue or embarrassed if they ask to step back down.
So, we are going to have a Take Your Friend to Serve Day. That’s right – TYFTSD!
Having a TYFTSD gives current volunteers a jumping off point to invite someone. It will be an easy invite for my current volunteer to point to the calendar and say, “Take your friend to serve day” is in two weeks, why don’t you come with me? And the friend who comes to see what the volunteer does, isn’t committed to staying on to serve. They can check out the area where their friend is serving, and if it isn’t what they are interested in, they can say, “No, thanks.” Easy to see, easy to step away if it’s not the right fit. Hopefully tough, many will see what your volunteers all ready see – that serving in this ministry has value and is making a difference in God’s Kingdom.
And who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? What do you think about doing a TYFTSD at your church? If you’re thinking about it, please leave a comment below and we can see together how this concept comes to fruition.