Archives For Volunteers

Whether you have been serving for 6 months or 6 years (or more!), you probably have had moments when you questioned why you ever started serving in the first place. Maybe it was that staff member that kept asking you, or maybe it was because you saw the overcrowded classrooms. Maybe you’ve always loved working with kids, and you were eager to serve at the new church you joined.

In any case, the ultimate reason why you serve is because God has called you to do so. Never forget this.

My friend Julia recently told the story how she started serving, and what she experienced over the years. And God reminded her that she was called for a purpose, much like the prophet Isaiah.

Hear her words: Continue Reading…

The end of the school year is an opportune time to remind your volunteers that you appreciate them. Receiving a heart-felt expression of gratitude is an encouragement for those who are serving.

A few years ago, a staff member of our church asked me for ideas for volunteer appreciation gifts. The gifts needed to be thoughtful, simple, and inexpensive, since we had well over 100 volunteers in children’s ministry.

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Let’s Talk Sabbath

Wendy Douglas —  April 18, 2012

 

Sabbath: a day of rest.

One of the questions I hear alot is “How in the world do you have a sabbath as a volunteer in children’s ministry?” Trying to fit in a day of rest when we have family, friends, work, and ministry requiring our time and attention each week can be a challenge.

But hear me say this…IT IS POSSIBLE. Not only is it possible…IT IS NECESSARY.

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In our Children’s Ministry, we developed a volunteer role called “Coaches,” and we’ve had the opportunity to share these ideas with other churches. This volunteer structure can be incredibly useful in your ministry, whether you have 30 or 60 or 200 or 800 volunteers. And keep in mind that this type of structure is not just applicable for churches and children’s ministries, but any type of organization that is volunteer-dependent and where leadership development is a goal.

What Volunteer Coaches Do

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So you’ve signed on to be a small group leader in children’s ministry. You’ve met with your director and know the expectations and basics for service on Sunday. They’ve shared the vision for the ministry and what the lesson will be for the series coming up. You  have your t-shirt and are ready to serve next weekend.

Then it hits you…the kids might ask you questions…questions you might not know the answers to!

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Our average attendance is around 150 on Sunday mornings. Our children’s ministry is contained in the same building as our main worship services. We use a manual check-in system. What follows are the steps that we are using successfully.

1. Purchase a visual paging system–we purchased a single wireless visual display with three transmitters. A transmitter was placed in each ministry area. The visual display is located in the main worship area and is easily visible. Volunteers were trained in how to use the paging system. Check out www.microframe.com for more information.

2. Identification cards–At first we just gave each family a permanent number. This number is the number that would appear on the visual display should we need to get in touch with a parent. These were made simply and inexpensively on a computer using printable business cards.

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Recently we’ve been focused on volunteers and within the last few weeks a new resource was made available entitled Rock Solid Volunteers. Here is the description from Amazon:

Larry Fowler, Director of Program and Training for Awana Clubs International, believes that there are seven biblical principles, drawn from the book of Nehemiah, that will help pastors and leaders more effectively motivate and manage volunteers. Rock-Solid Volunteers looks at the obstacles Nehemiah and his volunteer workers faced – fatigue, weakness, loss of vision, peer pressure and opposition, just for starters!—and examines the seven steps Nehemiah took to lead his volunteers to success. Pastors and ministry leaders will be equipped to attract, inspire and keep talented, committed volunteers, no matter the challenge!

Larry begins each chapter giving the account from Uzziel’s view. A goldsmith during the days of Nehemiah who helped rebuild the wall. While this account is not recorded in the Bible, Larry uses this to show how the workers of the day must have felt and how the volunteers we serve with today feel in service. Then throughout the chapter, Larry conveys practical ideas from Nehemiah (yes, Biblical principles!) to use to gain and maintain volunteers. Larry pulls from his own personal experiences in ministry and taps into what others in children’s ministry are doing today. At the end of each chapter, Larry also provides questions to think and talk about, helping you personalize it and develop an action plan for you and your ministry.

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Doing the Hokey Pokey

Wendy Douglas —  January 5, 2011

I was thinking today that the Hokey Pokey isn’t just a dance we used to do at the skating rink, but it is a dance that we should be doing in children’s ministry.

  • Put your hands in, put your hands out… – Know what we can do and when we need to empower our team to do what they do best.
  • Put your feet in, put your feet out… – Know when we need to be working and when we need a time of rejuvination.
  • Put your whole self in, put your whole self out… – Know the difference between giving ourselves to the ministry and the ministry being all about us.
  • Turn yourself about – Knowing when we need to go in a new direction and/or looking at something differently.

How are you dancing in ministry today?

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A Resource Closet for Free

Tammy Jones —  December 27, 2010

Any Children’s Ministry, large or small, needs a Resource Closet. This is the place that volunteers go to find craft materials, curriculum, puppets, items for object lessons, etc. Basically this is where anything and everything is stored that could possibly be needed by anyone and everyone working with kids. Here are a few tips to help you set up a Resource Closet at no cost. (Yes, I said free.)

  1. Find a closet that is not being used or is not being used to it’s full potential. Continue Reading…

This time of year, you see a Santa Claus almost everywhere you look.  No matter where you come down on the issue of Santa, there are still a few things that we can learn from Santa in Children’s Ministry. So, over the course of the next several weeks leading up to Christmas, we will look at a number of things we can learn from the jolly old elf.

The first thing we can learn is, the necessity of… Continue Reading…