You have to start somewhere, right? Reality is that most people do not jump at the opportunity to serve in children’s ministry. If that were the case, you’d stop attending the “how to recruit volunteers” workshop at the next conference. Like most children’s leaders, though, you won’t because it’s likely an ongoing challenge.
What if we created a bunch of spots for people that wasn’t much of a commitment? What if we created opportunities for people to just get their toes wet? Instead of jumping at fresh meat and asking for a 6 to 12 month commitment, what if we didn’t ask for any commitment, except that they help when they can.
I’m not saying to not build a core of committed volunteers—that’s necessary. I am saying create a bunch of new jobs, tasks and responsibilities for those who don’t want to commit. I’m a huge believer in what we do at South Hills. I believe that once a person experiences what and how we do ministry that they will eventually (sooner than later) choose themselves to commit. It takes the pressure off of us to force someone into signing documents and forces us to do what we do even better. People want to be apart of something exciting, growing and organized.
That core of non-committed volunteers will birth plenty who want to take the next step. Others will choose not to and that’s okay.
Here are some ideas for non-committed volunteers (and remember they may not work for everyone in every situation):
1. Have them help when THEY WANT (after a background checks…if you feel it gets out of hand that’s when you have the “committed” talk)
2. Ask if they will help with a project and that’s it.
3. Ask if they will run an errand or pick up a couple things for you from the store for the weekend’s lesson.
4. Invite them to your next team meeting for some free food to check out what’s going on.
5. Ask if they’d brainstorm an idea or two with you.
Obviously, the idea is helping them discover that they have giftings and talents that can benefit our young ones and themselves. On a bright side it also gives you the opportunity to see if you even want that person on your team. Next time you’re with your team brainstorm some non-committal ideas to get people on board.