All-Inclusive Recruiting: 16 “Outside the Box” Volunteer Positions

As leaders, we spend a lot of time recruiting for weekend programming–teachers, assistant teachers, greeters, techies, worship leaders, ushers, just to name a few.  As important and valuable as these roles are, not everyone is gifted or available to serve in our ministries on the weekends.

It’s important to remember to make our ministries all-inclusive, meaning that we seek to include volunteers who might be able to serve in capacities outside of the weekend that would greatly benefit your ministry.  These opportunities might be a great way to incorporate more teens and college students, stay-at-home parents, working parents, grandparents and older members of your church into your ministry without a weekly commitment.  Here are 16 ways that you can think outside of the box when recruiting:

1.  Artists can help design and build sets or make-over your classroom.

2.  Sorters can sort curriculum, take-home pages, parent resources, worship bulletins, crayons, etc.  They could also sort and discard broken crayons, dried out markers and glue sticks, etc.

3.  Re-stockers can use a check-list to restock classroom supplies that are used each week.

4.  Technology lovers can keep your ministry’s social media sites up-to-date.  They might also be able to help you design cool power point presentations for worship or other uses.

5.  Social butterflies can make reminder calls to volunteers and recruit volunteers for your events.

6.  Those who love to cook can cook or bake for events.

7.  Readers might love to edit your digital curriculum.

8.  Decorators can plan and set up for events with a keen eye to details.

9.  Those who love to shop can purchase snacks and other supplies.

10.  Marketers can brainstorm ideas to help you effectively publicize your events.

11.  Writers can send cards to your children and volunteers.

12.  Crafty folks can help prepare crafts by cutting out shapes, patterns or templates.  They can also sew costumes and help make props.

13.  Trainers or skilled professionals can come in to lead training for your volunteers or staff.

14.  Surveyors can look into and evaluate curriculum options, Bibles, books and other resources.

15.  Organizers can help organize your resource room/craft closet and classroom cupboards.

16.  Researchers can help you find that perfect craft or object lesson, a great ice-breaker for your next volunteer meeting or an active and messy game that your 5th grade boys would love.

One of our jobs as leaders is to help those in the body find their place.  Be sure that your ministry is all-inclusive!  Think outside of the box!

Let me know what you would add to the list!

Connecting with Absentee Children

Children miss Sunday school for a myriad of reasons–sports, sickness, travel, weekends with non-custodial parents, just to name a few.  When a child misses for two consecutive weeks, a red flag should go up and you should make an effort to connect with the child and his or her family.  Doing so–or not doing so–could have a huge impact on your ministry.

I recently had lunch with a friend whose child does not like his youth group and who hasn’t attended the Sunday morning programming for an extended period of time.  As the conversation continued, my friend not only shared his frustration about not knowing how to handle this situation but his frustration in another area:  “My child’s small group leader didn’t seem to notice that he wasn’t there.”

So how can you connect with absentee children, before it’s too late?

Track attendance.  This will help you to know when a child has missed for two or more weeks.

Contact the parent/guardian.  This can be done very casually by phone or email.  Don’t invade on their privacy, but let them know that (1) you notice that the child has missed church for “x” amount of weeks and (2) you wanted to follow-up to see if everything is ok.  Is there an issue or need that needs to be addressed?

Send a postcard to the child, saying that you miss seeing them and that church is not the same without them.  Not only do children love getting mail but they also love knowing that someone cares enough about them to not only miss them but send a note.  Here are inexpensive cards that you can purchase for your ministry.

Make a big deal when they return to class.  Shower love on them and warmly welcome them back to the class.

Let it never be said that your ministry “didn’t seem to notice I wasn’t there.”

How many weeks do you allow to pass before you connect with absentee children?  How do you connect with them?

Hello, Summer!

I don’t know about your ministry, but our ministry does not slow down during the summer.  Between our end-of-year volunteer appreciation picnic, recruiting (for summer and fall) and Summer Bible Camp, our workload during the summer keeps us quite busy!

One of our biggest tasks for our summer is preparing for summer programming.  We give our school-year volunteers the summer off to rest, recover and re-energize for the fall.  This means that in order to staff our ministry, we rely on parent volunteers and members of our church body to serve.  This poses quite a challenge, considering travel schedules to work around and the reality that people just don’t want to serve.
To make the transition to summer programming a little easier on our seasonal volunteers, I have chosen a summer volunteer-friendly curriculum for the past 3 summers.  We use a video-based teaching time (which takes a huge burden off of a seasonal volunteer’s shoulders) and have our volunteers facilitate small group discussion, games and activities. This is something that our volunteers are very comfortable with.

Although our summer volunteers are seasonal and may serve just one or two Sundays, it is important that they be aware of some basic ministry information, such as arrival times, class schedule, safety policies, and classroom discipline.  I recently put together a “Summer Serve Handbook” for our volunteers containing this important information.

What does summer look like in your ministry?

We love our volunteers!

This weekend, we are hosting an appreciation picnic for our amazingly faithful volunteers.  We are so blessed to serve alongside volunteers who love children and want to help them know and love Jesus.  One of the ways that I will honor them is to present them with a handwritten note of thanks along with a prayer of blessing over them.  I can’t think of a better way to send them off for the summer!

How do you honor your volunteers at the end of the ministry year?