Ask anyone who works in children’s ministry and they will tell you one of their greatest challenges is recruiting and keeping volunteers. Yet, there are some relatively simple things you can do to make recruiting and retention much, much easier.
One of the most effective ways to retain volunteers is to make their life in ministry as easy as possible. Hopefully, the people you have recruited to teach and tutor the children have some gifts from God in those areas. They may be wonderful classroom teachers. They may be very creative or open to trying some of the creative activity ideas on Teach One Reach One.
What they may not have though, is a lot of free time. Often that lack of time, translates into printing off a coloring sheet minutes before class. And as you have learned from this ministry, that’s not the best use of our limited time with students.
So what can you do? Find the people in your congregation who love to shop. Not the ones who love to spend money, but the ones who enjoy finding great things for practically nothing. Give them the list of everything your teachers will need to do their creative, hands-on, experiential, meaningful memorable activities for the next few months. Tell them their budget and then turn them loose with a deadline several weeks before the first class.
After these people – who are probably absolutely loving finding a way to use this talent for God – return with all of the supplies, it’s time to find your next group of people with special talents. This time search out your organizers. You will know them because they can easily find things in their purses and their homes or cars always look like they were just in a magazine shoot for Swiffer.
Give these people some large baggies and a list of each class, each lesson, the supplies needed for that lesson and the number of students in each class. Then turn them lose to organize everything. By the end of the day, you should have baggies for each lesson and each class containing everything needed to teach a lesson and activity.
Now hand these baggies to the teachers at least a month before the first class they will teach. Watch the smiles as they realize everything is ready for them and all they have to do is use their real gift of teaching.
The key ps realizing that requiring a person who is gifted at teaching to also be gifted at shopping and organizing is not in the best interest of anyone. This will work with any volunteer task that requires multiple gifts. Once you break any task into the separate gifts required and find people gifted in that specific skill, everyone will be happier and more effective. Try it and let me know what happens!