Investing in Leadership Growth

Recruiting KidMin Volunteers And Keeping Them

by Heather Marble/ October 5, 2016

Imagine this with me if you will: You are on the search and praying for God to provide the perfect person to help in the 2-year-olds’ classroom. You walk over to the check-in area on Sunday morning and bump into this mom, and she is the answer to your prayers. You smile and begin to talk to hershe expresses an interest about wanting to serve. You call her during the week, invite her to Starbucks, and finally during the next couple weeks you get her plugged into your team. Score!

So, you move on to the next need in your kids’ ministry. Before you know it, 3 months have passed since you said hello to this mom and had an actual conversation with her. You are sitting in your office and get a phone callshe is stepping out of kids’ ministry to pursue another opportunity in the church.

Far too often as kids’ pastors, we can fall so deep into the cycle of recruiting that we miss the needs of the volunteers. I have been there. With everything we need to balance as kids’ pastors, it is far too easy to struggle with the balance of recruiting and developing volunteers—both of which are equally important.

How can we as leaders ensure we are constantly investing in growing the leaders who are on our team?

That is a question I ask myself weekly. Here are three methods I have found that have made a huge impact on our kids’ ministry team:

  1. We are Family: Everyone on our kids’ ministry team matters.


    One of my roles as a kids’ pastor is to develop an atmosphere where everyone knows they are valued and important to our team. We host family gatherings once a quarter at my apartment (or one of our team member’s homes). We all bring food, and we fellowship together. Spouses and kids are invited. It’s a fun night of building real relationships. I provide the main course while everyone else brings a dish to pass or a drink to share. We theme out the nights (Fall, Hawaiian, Mexican, Italian, Ugly Sweaters… the possibilities are endless).

    Every volunteer must feel part of your ministry “family.” Far too often we fall into trying to meet the ministry’s needs and thus miss out on knowing the people we serve alongside. Building those friendships and relationships is crucial to the health of the ministry and the strength of your team.


  2. Give Away the Credit: You cannot do ministry alone. If you did, you would be miserable and fail. When someone on the team does something that goes above and beyond, celebrate it and give them the credit. If someone on the team has an incredible idea, acknowledge them for having the idea. Everyone on the team has unique callings and God-given gifts that will make the team great. Our job is to not quench those gifts but to help people on our team develop into their callings.


  3. Be Intentional: Ministry and life are busy. Become intentional with making room in your schedule for interruptions. Check in with the people on your team. Often we don’t follow up with people to see how they’re doing. We are scared that if we ask that question, we might lose time during our busy day. As a leader, it is your job to work ahead to make time to minister to your leaders’ needs as they arise. And then sometimes your volunteers may just need someone to talk to. Make yourself available.

So how can we continue to invest in the people who serve alongside us in ministry? It’s a simple application: Make the commitment to see people not as a checklist. Make time to see the value of those who are a part of your team, and call out their gifts and talents.