Where Oh Where Are The Volunteers?

Tonya Langdon —  April 26, 2012

Volunteers? Where are all the volunteers? At times we struggle to find volunteers to work within our special needs ministries. In yesterday’s workshop lead by Linda Martin, she suggests that in order to effectively recruit volunteers there needs to be an awareness of your special needs ministry. For many churches across the nation creating awareness that there is a special needs ministry within their church is challenging. When people within your church and community are aware that you have a thriving ministry that works with families and their children who have special needs, you will find those precious volunteers.

How do you create awareness of your special needs ministry?
• Ministry Fairs-great way to interact with people who may be interested in volunteering
• Share your vision and enthusiasm for your ministry with others. Others will be impacted by your passion.
• Catchy, attention grabbing bulletins
• Video spot during church announcements
• Facebook-this is a great tool! I have found 4 volunteers in the past week through social media
• Invite special guest or speakers to your church–Nick Vujicic, Joni Erickson Tada, etc…
• Draw people to your room–pictures, brochures, prayer boxes, bulletin boards
• Publicize special events that you are having in the bulletin
• Be active in the community–team walks, resource fairs, activities
• Foster relationships with agencies that will allow you to post your events on their site as a resource for families
• Wear shirts , buttons and hats that advertise your ministry
• Put a sandwich sign outside your children’s floor.
• Ask…simple ask people if they would be interested in working in your ministry.
• Ask your prayer team to pray for people’s heart to be stirred and to step out in faith
• Let your pastor’s what you are doing and what your results from your outreach efforts

Have fun and be creative! Regardless of the methods that you choose to implement in order to find volunteers, you must step out of your comfort zone and have faith that God will bring you the right people to volunteer in your classroom.

Tonya Langdon

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Tonya is married with three children. Tonya currently spearheads The Agape Connections (special needs ministry), teaches the 4th & 5th grade Sunday school class and leads a support group for parents who have children with A.D.H.D. and Behavioral Disorders at Skyline Church in La Mesa, Ca. The Agape Connections work with families who have special needs children so the entire family is able to attend church services and age appropriate church activities. In Tonya’s “free time” she is studying for ordination, writes articles and co-owns an office products business with her brother.

One response to Where Oh Where Are The Volunteers?

  1. Just as in business, getting your ministry recognized in your church and community is about marketing. If people are asked which ministry is the most important at their church, I would posit most will say choir, because that is the most visible and the one they think they are influenced by the most. You need to make Special Needs as visible and as well-known as the choir. Everywhere people look, they should see something steering them to Special Needs or prompting them to ask what Special Needs is all about. Keychains, t-shirts, hats, signs, anything that can have a Special Needs name on it should be there. Then you will have an over-abundance of people who want to be involved. Mel Brooks had it right in Spaceballs. May the Schwartz be with you would translate to: Get your name on anything and everything you can, and the business (or volunteers, in this case), will come.