Recruiting can be one of the most stressful on-going aspects of children’s ministry. Volunteers move on or change ministries and the children’s ministry leader is once again searching for a volunteer.
It’s nearing the beginning of the Sunday School year and you still need help in the nursery and 2 Sunday School teachers – never mind volunteers for your mid-week club program! It is very tempting in these situations to find anybody available to serve in the nursery or to teach a Sunday School class.
But recruiting should be about finding somebody, not just anybody.
Understanding the value of your children’s ministry helps you to see that who you recruit to work with the children of your church is very important.
The somebody you are looking for is:
1. Somebody who loves Jesus
The discipleship of our kids is the goal of children’s ministry. Let’s make sure that the people influencing them are people who love Jesus first and foremost.
I spoke to someone recently who remembered a certain Sunday School teacher he had as a child. He looked up to his teacher. This teacher was the cool teacher. When the teacher taught, he listened. Years later, he found out that this teacher was not a Christ-follower. In fact, the old teacher said, “I didn’t believe any of that stuff I was teaching you.”
Sunday School teachers are role-models for our kids. Children will imitate those they admire. So let’s give them volunteers who love Jesus!
2. Somebody who loves kids
This may seem obvious, but it is important that the people serving in our children’s ministries actually love kids. Kids can tell – and kids need people who love them no matter what! Our kids need people who love them enough to pray for them, to discipline them, to disciple them, to listen to them. Loving kids will also help volunteers through the tough times in children’s ministry. People who love kids are volunteers for the long term.
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12: 30-31)
We are called to love God and to love people. When looking for volunteers in your children’s ministry, look for these kinds of people, but make it even more specific – look for people who love kids.
3. Somebody who is gifted in the area you need
God has gifted His people to serve in the Church. Look for people gifted by God for your specific need. Sometimes you will need the gift of teaching, sometimes you will need the gift of administration, sometimes you will need the gift of helps; or perhaps you need someone with a combination of gifts. Ask God to raise up people gifted to serve in children’s ministry and believe that He will provide.
The children in our churches deserve somebody who loves Jesus, who loves them, and who is gifted to serve.