“What would happen if we structured our ministry in a way that our primary job is not doing the work of ministry but equipping other to do it?” (Annette Safstrom, Sustainable Children’s Ministry)
Recruiting, training and keeping volunteers is important for establishing a thriving, sustainable children’s ministry. On this page you will find some key resources that will help you build, invest into, celebrate and maintain a vibrant volunteer culture.
Key Books to Read
Jim Wideman – pastor, speaker, author, and ministry coach with more than 40 years of experience serving in all areas of the local church, including 17 years leading one of the largest children’s ministries in the United States, wrote a book called Volunteers that Stick (an updated version is forthcoming) that is arguably one of the best resources on recruiting and retaining volunteers. Check out our review here and if you can find a copy (check out libraries like Tyndale or Redeemer) read it!
Sustainable Children’s Ministry is a must read for all churches. Not only does it have some excellent and practical resourcing for volunteer culture but it also covers everything you need to build a children’s ministry that will last. Check out our review here.
As stated by the authour, “This book is not a training or “how-to” guide for churches. Nor is it a step-by-step handbooks for churches to put into place. The information found in these chapters will primarily be of value to churches trying to strengthen ministry volunteers.” This book is the result of doctoral research that is rich with possibility. It is worth reading to gain a fresh vision and spark creativity in how to deepen your approach to volunteers.
This FREE webinar “21 Big Ideas for Finding and Leading Volunteers featuring Christine Kreisher and Jim Wideman” is full of great and practical ideas.
The Nuts & Bolts of a Volunteer Huddle free resource from Christine Kreisher is great for a way to regularly check in and rally your volunteer team.
Check out this collection of articles on volunteers from Childrensministry.com
Check out this collection of the 25 Best Articles on Volunteers from Churchleaders.com
Download The Calling poem to share with all your volunteers.
Questions to Consider
So, what is your strategy for developing a vibrant volunteer culture? Following are 10 key questions to consider:
- How is recruitment happening?
- What are entry points for potential volunteers?
- How is the vision being communicated?
- What is the training process?
- How are volunteers equipped, supported and cared for?
- How are volunteers being encouraged/celebrated?
- How much church budget is allocated to volunteer development?
- How are volunteers evaluated/receiving feedback?
- How are volunteers supported/acknowledged by senior leadership?
- What are the ‘wins’ for volunteers?
This is a facebook live ’10 Minute Training’ I did on Volunteer Care