Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been hearing some interesting stories from some of the men who serve in the Children’s Ministry here at Gateway Church.
One guy told me about how he and his wife responded to a plea for help in the Children’s Ministry. One day the Children’s Pastor turned to him and said, “I think you’d be perfect to operate and voice the Elmer puppet (our preschool character).” Now this guy is incredibly passionate about “being” Elmer and is also overseeing a dad’s group.
Another guy started volunteering in the classroom where his daughter attended. At that point in time, he was an agnostic. Now he’s one of the lead teachers (no, he’s not an agnostic anymore). He wears a cape to work with the kids. Why? Because he’s passionate about being a hero to these kids.
I observed (I haven’t met him yet) another guy who is the host of our Preschool Elmer’s Clubhouse (he’s the emcee). He’s one of the best I’ve seen. I asked about how they found him. I was then told that his wife dragged him into it. She wanted to serve and didn’t want to do it by herself. One day someone handed him the microphone and he hasn’t given it back yet.
There are many more stories just like these, I just haven’t discovered them all yet.
I’ve had this thought in my head all weekend. Sometimes in efforts to recruit for the children’s Ministry, we communicate “need.” Yeah, that one isn’t usually good. “They” tell us that we need to recruit by communicating vision. Yes, this is the way to go. However, I think there may be something else to consider. I think we may need to communicate that we’re doing “them” a favor by letting them come volunteer. Yeah, I said that right. For many people, their greatest passion may be loving other peoples’ kids and they don’t know it yet. It may be serving snacks, running computer check-in, operating a puppet, running sound, teaching from the stage or leading a small group. They just may not know until they give it a shot. So, think about that the next time you get to make an announcement from the stage in “big church.”
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That is exactly the plea I always make.
“I don’t want you to serve for what I get out of it, I want you to serve for what you stand to get out of it!”
I challenge people to give me 3 months and see if they don’t get something wonderful out of their time.