I’m really curious about something.
One of the most popular subject to discuss in children’s ministry is the recruiting, retention and leading of volunteers. Why? Because we all need ’em. I’ve never met anyone who had all the volunteers they’ve needed. When I was just starting out in ministry and feeling the responsibilities of recruiting, I felt comfort in the fact that a really big church down the road that I respected for their excellence and quality in ministry was also in the midst of trying to recruit several hundred new volunteers. Even when in Malaysia several years ago when doing some CM training, several local CP’s would come up and say, “but you don’t understand. It’s different here. We never have enough volunteers!” It’s a global challenge.
This post is not about volunteer recruiting though. It’s about what you are doing in the mean time. No one ever really talks about this part. I know for a lot of us, it means staff and already over-committed volunteers getting sucked into last minute spots (yeah, we all know it happens… we just don’t want to admit it). For some it is utilizing subs to fill empty spots rather than just subbing for workers who are out. I know others have even recruited temporary volunteers (just give us until the end of the year and we can fill this spot).
I’m not sure if anyone else has ever wondered about this. What are you doing and how do you cope with the open spots while recruiting? Tell your story.
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If I know I’ll be short on a Sunday morning, I find it’s easier to just ask people as they come in. I can waste time on the phone during the week hearing a dozen ‘no’s’ because they assume ‘someone’ will eventually say ‘yes’, or I can find someone in two minutes on Sunday morning because they know the need is imminent and I don’t have anyone else. I’m not sure if that’s a good way to handle it, but it’s easier for me.
I’m currently filling a monthly hole in pre-school ministry. I have a teacher, but no assistant. UGH! Then, I feel so out of touch with the elementary ministry. I plan an entire service for them and end up helping in pre-school. But it does help me get to know the pre-schoolers and their parents. Eventually, pre-school joins elementary downstairs.
i also have used my subs to fill empty spots instead of filling in for absentees.I just do what I need to to get the job done!