Browse Tag

volunteers

You get from volunteers according to what you give them. How’s your getting?

Hands holding a gift box isolated on black background

In our pursuit of recruiting volunteers for our children’s ministries many explain that they are not getting the volunteers. I think we need to look inward before we begin to talk about how people just don’t volunteer in our ministries.

First I start with the view that volunteers want to be successful. They want to make a difference. They want to be part of a team because that is just how God made us all. I do think there are some steps we can take to help potential volunteers to be successful, able to make a difference as they serve on our teams.

What volunteers are able to give depends on what we give to them first.

Let’s start with those you already have as volunteer leaders. Have you established an environment that allows those currently volunteering in your ministry to be good walking billboards for you?

* Can they say you take care of them by having proper child to leader ratios?
* Would they say you give them the proper tools to get not just what you have asked them to get done but what about to get done what God has put on their hearts to do with the families?
* They feel immersed and knowledgable about the mission and vision because it is in writing, its taught to everyone and lived out for all levels of volunteer commitment within your children’s ministries?
* They have been mentored by a more experienced and seasoned volunteer. This helps with that all too often feel that some go through as they are thrown into a ministry and left alone.

Lastly but by no means finished, let’s look at a few things we should be giving to our new volunteers. Lets start after they sign up and have background checks done because at this time we all now we have to at least do this step.

* Do we have a process of getting to know them personally?
* Take them through some gift test to place them in the right spot?
* Can we hand them our ministry manual? This will help with a lot of uncertainty about how they order supplies, chain of command, discipline policy, and more.

I believe that if our giving is great then our getting will be good. How is your getting?

What else would you add for those already in the ministry?
What else would you add for those looking to come into the ministry?

How do you show volunteers they are important

Thank You

I read a lot and hear a lot of kidmin folks talk about volunteers. A person can’t hang out in circles of kidmin folks very long without hearing people claim they need more volunteers. Visit churches and see bulletins full of request for volunteers, clever commercials created asking for volunteers. Maybe you are even one of these ministries as well?

The sad note is, many are set up to make the new volunteer feel important and needed but the tried and true volunteer who has been faithful for years feel forgotten and more like a mule just plowing as usual. Maybe you have fallen under this category?

If we continue to treat the tried and true volunteers as though they are not important then we will never really end up with any tried and true’s because they will continue to leave. Yes we may draw in all the new ones but the back door of our volunteer ministry force will be so large we will never keep up with the demand. Create a volunteer appreciation person. This person will naturally have the gift of hospitality and administration. They will totally focus on creating and implementing a process to cover all of our volunteers both publicly and privately with appreciation.

Whether you have you been with us for a long time, short time or just joining our SFLCKids family, we have you covered. Why? Because we truly do care about you!

What about you? What is your way of loving on your volunteers? What message do you send about the importance of volunteers, being with you for a long time or new?

Volunteer recruitment is fun

When you hear the words “Volunteer Recruitment” what does it do to you? Do you get chills down your spine? Does the hair stand up on the back of your neck? Do you get sick to your stomach? Out of all the great things we get to do in children’s ministry, recruiting volunteers is the most dreaded part. It doesn’t matter if the ministry is large or small, we all face the same hurdle: Finding enough people to run it successfully.

Having had the opportunity to oversee tons of vacation Bible schools, special programs, weekly ministries, and camps as well as hundreds of children per service, let me urge you to try network recruiting. This is getting your volunteers to recruit other volunteers who’ll recruit others, etc.

When looking for leaders to help recruit for your ministry, make sure these people have good skills in relating to others. Find people who are good at making friends, because most people will start with their friends when they recruit. This will also build relational ties in your children’s ministry teams, so your volunteers will feel connected to one another.

Make volunteer recruitment fun! When something is fun, everyone wants to be involved.

To read the rest of this click on over to Kidology Zones and look for the title of this blog post.

Volunteers bring them on Part 1

20111121-195539.jpg

I have always over all the years of being a full time children’s pastor, heard and experienced how much and how often those who work with kids need to recruit others to help volunteer. On any given Sunday, it can be heard from thousands of pulpits and read in just as many bulletins in churches of every kind and size, “We need workers! The truth is, the bigger the vision, the more people serving and helping it takes to make that vision reality.

Stop seeing recruiting as a negative chore that you have been given, but start seeing it as an opportunity to help people work out the BIG VISION that God has for His church. Start to encourage and train your team to recruit others. Jesus allowed His team to recruit two of the twelve. I’m always on the lookout for workers everywhere I go, men’s ministry, singles, seniors, ushers and greeters ministry and some places I have to be creative in getting invited to go there like the women’s ministry

Identify and share the types of giftings you are looking for and be watchful for people who display them. Look for people who vocationally manage people. Look within your church/ministry for people to promote; your answer to your need for workers isn’t always someone from the outside, instead God has already placed them within your grasp, you just need to ask. Pray team members in. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Once you’ve located them and qualified each candidate (you better be doing background checks and references etc. regardless of your church size) here are some suggestions I have picked up over time and implemented myself that you may want to do to help volunteers stay in your ministry.

1. Start them slowly. Don’t dump them in a class with a Sunday school for a quarter and say, “Tag, you’re it.” If you’re a dumper, the word is out on you! People always watch how you treat your current volunteers. Start new recruits out watching, and add responsibility slowly. This is also the time to teach them your church’s way of doing things. Train them in your policies and procedures; these should answer the questions: “What do you want me to do?” and “How do you want me to do it?” the questions every volunteer wants answered.

2. Immerse them in your vision. Use every method available to you: spoken, written—whether on blogs, websites or brochures—any visual. Let pictures and video tell your story. Vision is contagious. Over the years, I realized my vision is what keeps me going. If that vision doesn’t allow me to quit, if caught by others it wont allow others to quit either.

3. Give them a model or example. People do what they see. “Show” is a much better way to train than “tell.” When you model ministry on an ongoing basis, it keeps everyone moving forward on the same page. Hook all of your new volunteers with a current one doing ministry the way you want. There is always more training happening that what’s being done in front if you. Make sure you know what the message is even when not around you.

I will add more in the days to come. Feel free to add any of yours anytime here in the comments.

Volunteer recruiting
Volunteer recruiting part 2
Volunteer recruiting part 3

Finally the true secret to getting volunteers

20111108-060926.jpg

Through the years this one topic has resulted in more elusiveness, had more books written on, conference workshops taught on, magazine articles written on, heated discussions over and now over the past couple years more blog post on. Whats the topic that I am referring to?

“Volunteerism”

Why is it that we can construct these huge modern buildings that will just leave a person in awe over, send people to the moon several times, create smart computers, find cures for deadly illnesses, and yet still be crippled by this topic of volunteerism in so many of our churches and Childrens ministries?

I believe it is in large part due to how we have discovered success in all the above – ‘In steps and no magical one solution or instant solve all’. For some reason, we want another answer than “Ask people to join you in the bigger picture of what God is up to by volunteering in ministering in the nursery, preschool, kids church, mid week etc”.

Sure it is great that you invest in your leaders, provide training, have a smooth process for accepting them, create a volunteer lounge, write cards to them, acknowledge them in front of their peers, highlight them in the bulletin, create super star video clips of them, give gift cards to them, hold luncheons for them, send them singing tele-grams at work, build relationships with them, or have them over for popcorn and movies at your house.

But you can not do any of that if you have not first spent time just simply asking people to join you in accomplishing what God wants to do through your church in the lives of the kids and their families in your community.

You most likely have the volunteers in proportion to your asking percentage. Increase the asking will increase the volunteers. No big secret, just plain consistency.

Are you a Cruise or a Dinghy Part 1

It never changes, the success of your ministry to kids (outside of anything supernatural that God would so choose to do) greatly depends on the strength of your team. So take the time to build the right team for yourself. Successful people want to be part of something successful, bigger than themselves and fun to be part of.

I see too often the children’s ministries who float around like a Dinghy being pulled by every new fad or loud complainer. They don’t have the team built to stand up against the waves or to sail in the big sea. So for survival purposes they stay attached to anything and everything they can to just survive. They are able to turn quickly though and not lose any passengers seeing that they have built themselves to only handle a couple volunteers anyway and those volunteers help out of friendship not because they are driven by the leader. They usually try to recruit through the bulletin with no real lasting results but it is easier and makes them feel good like they are doing their job of recruiting. Then if they happen to land someone they put them in with no thought and often find out later it is a wrong fit and feel they are stuck together in this already small dinghy going no where.

Then I see those children’s ministries who are like cruise ships sailing all over the seas. Handling the waves as they come and the people not really feeling the waves but having fun. They chart courses that people want to go with. They have a hiring process that they do not compromise because they understand the end result is much too important. The people working the cruise ship enjoy their job and had purposely pursued getting hired.

Some quick signs of being part of a Dinghy ministry:
1. You continue to place ads in the bulletin that use the word “need.”
2. You guilt people into serving.
3. You are using new volunteers for multiple tasks and burning them out where they don’t want to be part of any ministry again.
4. You are more concerned about filling holes than helping people find their sweet spot in ministry.
5. The only time you connect with parents is when you are asking them to serve.
6. As you walk down the hall people run away because you are the only one who recruits for new volunteers and seeing you that is what it usually means.
7. You throw a new volunteer into a classroom for the first time with forty 2-3 year olds…and one no one else but them.
8. You ask the Pastor to beg for volunteers for you from the pulpit.

Tomorrow I will share signs of being part of a Cruise Ship.

Care more for volunteers than the empty positions

People who volunteer and stay over the long haul tend to do it more for personal reasons, not organizational reasons. This is something that I am still working on with teaching my teams. Over my years in children’s ministry I have picked up that successful recruiting efforts tend to focus first on the motivations and talents of potential volunteers and then go on to organizational mission and vision.

So to help you out (and myself as I will now have another quick place to refer my leaders to, this post, so I will not have to type up long emails or spend much time explaining each time) I would like to suggest some quick ideas or suggestions to take when recruiting volunteers from all the pools of influence each of us have.

1. Talk to them about them, and then talk to them about you. Your goal is finding alignment between personal and organizational values, mission, and vision. Remember, YOU MUST BE MORE INTERESTED IN THEM AS A PERSON MORE THAN JUST FILLING A POSITION. You will never do anyone any good in lassoing them into a “POSITION” just because you have it available, but you will do eternal good in helping people find where they would be successful.

2. Begin by explaining what you give them, not what they give you. You provide opportunities to learn new skills, channels for giving back, and richness of life. You give them an opportunity to matter. If you don’t, close the doors because your organization doesn’t matter.

3. Before recruiting volunteers know the answer to this basic question. “Why do volunteers share their time, talent, and treasure with your organization?” I am amazed that I can ask this very question to my teams or to other teams and many times I hear no response. If those of us leading can not answer this or are unclear of this answer ourselves, why would potential volunteers want to partner with us in our organization?

4. After you understand potential volunteers, always lead with organizational mission and vision. Don’t focus on tasks, focus on vision. Don’t say, “I’d like you to man the front desk on Sundays for the second service.” Do say instead, “I think you can help us invest in the lives of families in our community by being on the front line and influencing them by greeting them when they come to check in and help them find where they need to go.”

5. If you can’t clearly articulate your mission and vision in compelling ways, you aren’t ready to recruit volunteers. Compelling vision establishes your true North and fires passions to charge off in that direction.

Convincing people to perform tasks doesn’t create dedicated volunteers. Connecting values, mission and vision does.

So are you ready to recruit or are you missing some of these and that is the reason you are getting the results you have been getting? I am a firm believer that you are perfectly designed for the results you receive.

Finally the true secret to getting volunteers

Through the years this one topic has resulted in more elusiveness, more books written about, conference workshops taught on, magazine articles written on, heated discussions over, and now over the past couple years, more blog posts on. What is the topic that I am referring to?

“Volunteerism”

Why is it that we can construct these huge modern marvels buildings, send people to the moon several times, create smart computers, find cures for deadly illnesses, and yet still be crippled by this topic of volunteerism in so many of our churches and Children’s ministries? I believe it is in large part due to how we have discovered success in all the above. It has happened in steps and with no one magical solution. For some reason, we want an answer other than “Ask people to join you in the bigger picture of what God is up to by volunteering in working in the nursery, preschool, kids church, mid week etc”.

Sure it is great that you invest in your leaders by providing training and having a smooth process for accepting them.  You could create a volunteer lounge, write cards to them, acknowledge them in front of their peers, highlight them in the bulletin, create super star video clips of them, give gift cards to them, hold luncheons for them, send them singing telegrams to them at work and more, build relationships with them, or have them over for popcorn and movies at your house. But you cannot do any of that if you have not first spent time just simply asking people to join you in accomplishing what God wants to do through your church in the lives of the kids and their families in your community.

You most likely have the volunteers in proportion to your asking percentage. Increasing the asking will increase the volunteers. There is no big secret, just plain consistency.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...