Volunteer Barriers

I’m fortunate enough to be part of a network of children’s ministry leaders in our area that gathers a few times each year. We use that time to catch up, encourage each other, and learn from one another. Often times, we take suggestions for what topics we’ll discuss as a group. Every time we ask for topics to discuss, there is one that always comes up the most. It’s recruiting volunteers. Leaders in our network consistently ask each other what they do to recruit volunteers. Rightfully so, as that is usually the biggest challenges children’s ministry leaders face. If...

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Partnering with Parents

Need more volunteers? Of course you do. This is kidmin, right? There will always be a need for amazing men and women who will invest in the next generation. The problem we face each and every week – where do we find more of these amazing men and women? There are a lot of tactics, but let me share one that we’ve had success with lately. Think about our most readily available audience. It’s the parents of the kids who attend our programs, right? This isn’t a new thought. Many ministries have considered this abundant resource and we’ve all...

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I Wish I Had Known: Joey Waters

I have a feeling you are a lot like me. I care greatly about the program/production experience kids have at my church. Although we want every kid to connect in a relationship, the worship/teaching experience is significant. How we communicate the gospel in an age-appropriate and compelling way is critical. How we create a large group experience where it is natural to truly worship takes effort. I want kids to experience Jesus in a profound way each and every weekend and it only happens when we adequately plan and prepare. I have the best job in the world. For the last...

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Book Club: Strategic Volunteers

When I look back over all the books I’ve read as a vocational ministry leader, I think the one that has influenced me the most is the first one I read on volunteer leadership, or leading leaders. This book was Simply Strategic Volunteers: Empowering People for Ministry by Tony Morgan and Tim Stevens. Just a few chapters in, it helped me look at my role differently and do a 180 with my thinking. As a church staff children’s ministry leader, I first believed my primary role to be teaching and discipling children. What this book helped me realize was that loving...

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Treat Yo Self

Fall means several things to me. cooler weather… apple cider & hot chocolate colorful leaves camping with the family and of course… the Orange Tour! For nearly a decade, I’ve attended the Orange Tour. As I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of regional training. Not every ministry can afford to take their teams to the big national conferences, but taking a handful of staff and volunteers to a local event is something almost every ministry can afford. I’ve attended a lot of regional trainings. I’ve even started my own regional training events. But of all I’ve attended, the...

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Rethink Staff: Do Ages Matter?

Do ages really matter? Yes, but not the way you’re thinking. There was a time when everything I led was age specific. I had a student ministry who recruited their own small group leader, and elementary ministry who created their own small group leaders and a preschool ministry that did the same. Each ministry leader who have sworn that their leaders were different from the same leaders in other age groups. As an outsider (they guy who oversaw all of it), I saw far more similarities that differences. Whether you’re thinking of building a more integrated NextGen ministry (infants...

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Volunteer Heroes

I’m afraid that most of us in kidmin have amazingly little vision for volunteers. When I began, I led kids 4 years through 5th grade at the little church a few miles form where I went to college. For nearly four years, I ran every Sunday with three volunteers (students I recruited from my dorm). My first full-time gig required hundreds of volunteers that I had scheduled on a once a month rotation, other than the Sunday School teachers who had been teaching for 20 years or more. My third church is where I began casting vision for every...

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I’m Sorry

I’m sorry. Can we say that together? “I’m sorry.” These two words might be the most powerful words to come out of your mouth and they’re two words every ministry leader needs to get used to using on a regular basis. Let’s say that together one more time. “I’m sorry.” See, that wasn’t so hard, was it. Some of the biggest frustrations we’ll encounter in ministry are frustrated parents and volunteers. Not a Sunday goes by where I’m not having a challenging conversation with someone. I’ve found that the the more responsibility you have, the more frequent these conversations...

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Just Listen

I still clearly remember an argument that Sara and I had early in our marriage. She had been having a rough day and during a ride in the car, she decided to emotionally vent her frustrations. Based on what I was hearing, I quickly came to several conclusions and had several solutions to help her with her problems. As soon as she finished talking, I eagerly offered her several of my ideas that would surely make her day. I was new at this, but I felt like I was shining in my role as a husband. A few moments...

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Live at Orange: Monday is Coming

Orange Conference is off to an incredible start! The theme is on point this year. OK, so it is every year, but this year seems special. Monday is Coming. Wait. I thought it was “Sunday is Coming?” Like, I’m at the Orange Conference this week with my team, but Sunday is still coming. We still have a program to plan and implement, volunteers to schedule and equip, rooms to set up, and agendas to work through. Sunday is Coming. Here is my take away from even the couple hours I’ve been here so far… Sunday is Coming, but we...

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