top of page



  • Facebook Clean Grey
  • Twitter Clean Grey
  • Instagram Clean Grey

Solving the Volunteer Shortage: #1 Best Strategy for Recruiting Children's Ministry Volunteers

Hi, I'm Shawn, and I have been working in children's ministry for the past 15 years. One of the biggest challenges I have faced throughout my career is recruiting and retaining volunteers. Today's post is my personal experience and strategy for effectively recruiting volunteers in a church setting.

The Ongoing Struggle: Churches are constantly dealing with turnover rates, with families coming and going, and volunteers deciding that it's no longer right for them. This ongoing problem seems to be prevalent in every children's ministry I've encountered.

Sustainable Children's Ministry: To address this issue, I highly recommend a book called "Sustainable Children's Ministry: From Last-Minute Scrambling to Long-Term Solutions." This resource provides valuable insights and preparation work for building a thriving children's ministry. I personally went through a program with Ministry Architects, designed by Mark DeVries, and the strategies outlined in this book have proved invaluable.

Forming a Children's Council Team: To kickstart the volunteer recruitment process, gather a children's council team. If you already have one in place, get them together to brainstorm and list 20-30 names of potential volunteers and the areas in which they would be a good fit. This collaborative effort will not only generate a list of potential volunteers but also engage your team and give them a sense of ownership in the process.If you don't have a children's council team, it's time to start one! Look for individuals who possess organizational and administrative skills, as well as those who would make great leaders. Aim to have around 10-15 names of potential team members to ask, so that you have a Children's Council of 4 to 5 members not including yourself.

Personal Invitations and Clear Job Descriptions:

Once you have identified potential volunteers, the key is to reach out to them personally. Invite them for a coffee or meet-up and clearly explain the specific role you have in mind for them. It's always helpful to have a typed-up job description to provide clarity and expectations. This initial groundwork of creating job descriptions and forming a children's council team may require some effort upfront but will save you time and ensure lasting volunteer commitments.

Face-to-Face Conversations: Having face-to-face conversations is crucial in securing volunteers who are committed for the long term. People are less likely to turn down an ask when it's presented directly to them. Share the details of the time commitment and frequency required for their chosen role. Conversations like these eliminate confusion or miscommunication and help potential volunteers make informed decisions.

The Power of Personalized Asks: Asking for volunteers is not as simple as putting an announcement in the newsletter or relying on the pastor's mention from the pulpit. The responsibility falls on you, the children's minister, to take proactive steps in recruitment. Personalized asks, based on individuals' unique skills or availability, demonstrate that you value their contribution and see them as an essential part of the team.

Recruiting and retaining volunteers is an ongoing challenge in children's ministry. However, with proper preparation, a collaborative approach, and personalized asks, you can increase your chances of recruiting committed volunteers who will actively contribute to your ministry. Remember, building lasting relationships with your volunteers starts with clear communication and setting expectations. By putting in the effort upfront, you can save time in the long run and create a thriving children's ministry with a dedicated team of volunteers.





bottom of page