When You’re Short on Volunteers

Guest Writer —  March 2, 2011

Today’s article is a guest post from Jenny Funderburke. Find out more about Jenny, including where to find her blog, at the end of the article.

imageHave you ever had one of those Sundays where the volunteers just weren’t there? We all have! That’s a fact of life in kidmin. Here are three simple things to do when it is one of those Sundays:

1. Do as much beforehand as you can. Our default is to become overwhelmed and let that paralyze us. We choose, consciously or not, to do nothing until we absolutely have to. As volunteers call before Sunday, go ahead and have your team fill as many of these as possible. This may involve moving people in from other areas that you oversee. Contact parents who are faithful attenders. Plugging in as many holes as you can beforehand will help reduce stress on Sunday morning.

2. Intentionally stalk substitutes. Of course, there will always be absences that you didn’t know about ahead of time. Two things that I try to avoid are putting up “We need help” signs and making desperate pleas from the pulpit. Both of these broadcast that your ministry is struggling. Even on days when it is, that isn’t the message you want to send to the rest of the church! Instead, pull in everyone you can. It may be a day that it is ok to be short greeters to insure that you have teachers in rooms. Free yourself up to watch parents coming in and intentionally ask those that you really like and trust to step in. Again, avoid sounding too desperate though it is ok to beg a little. On a side note, if this is an every week occurrence your parents will start running away from you. But that issue is a whole other blog post!

3. Consider changing up the norm. There may be days when substitutes are just flat out impossible to find. Evaluate what you can do to adjust programming to make it work. We have tried to be proactive about high-absence Sundays in our elementary ministry by planning to do large group only instead of splitting into small groups. In preschool, go ahead and combine classes where you can. It is better to have larger groups (but keep it safe!) for one day than for parents to stand around, frustrated that there is no teacher in the room.

These kinds of Sundays happen to everyone in every church at one time or another. The good news is that our God is just as faithful on these nutty days as He is on the days when you are fully staffed. He is not surprised by the nuttiness. Do all that you can, pray hard, and when it is over, thank God that every week is not like that!

Today’s article was written by Jenny Funderburke. Jenny is a children’s minister in Alabaster, Alabama. She describes herself as someone “who is loving life trying to do what God wants me to do with all of the families at Westwood. More importantly I’m trying to love my husband and raise my two crazy girls to love Jesus with all that they’ve got. I also really like ice cream.” In addition to a love for ice cream, we also share something else with Jenny, and that is a love and passion for children’s ministry. If you have not read Jenny’s blog, Kidmin Thoughts, you should check it out today! I have learned so much from her, and I am excited that she agreed to write an article for Kidmin1124. Enjoy!

 

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  1. Different Types of Volunteers | Kidmin1124 - April 19, 2011

    […] we were lucky enough here at Kidmin1124 to talk her into writing a guest post for our blog titled When You’re Short on Volunteers. Rest assured, if she were a volunteer or bi-vocational, we would have her as part of our team here […]