There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people…You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 27 NRSV

It takes special people to serve in children’s ministry—including you! The gifts God has given you are such a blessing to the churches you serve.

And when we give our volunteer leaders the opportunity to serve, we’re giving them a chance to fulfill the calling that God has placed on their lives. It gives them opportunity to own and use the gifts He’s blessed them with.

Support Volunteers

First, give support to your team through a clear onboarding process. We’ve broken this down into 5 steps.

Support Volunteers: Onboarding

1. Prepare

Know your vision and know who you need. Those are the two most important things in preparing for your volunteers.

Prepare for your volunteer team. People want to be a part of something significant. Write down your vision and make sure it connects to your church’s mission.

Write down every single volunteer role you can dream of. Know exactly who and what you’re looking for and get it on paper.

It takes special people to serve in children’s ministry.

2. Seek

Once you know what you need, then it’s time to recruit for each position.

Pray for wisdom, pray for discernment, ask your staff, and ask your volunteers for other recommendations.

Asking people personally can be more effective than doing a blanket statement to recruit volunteers in children’s ministry.

3. Screen

We should take safety very seriously. Begin by checking with your church’s insurance company or your denomination about any specific safety requirements that they might have. Next, check the church’s handbook or create one if you need to (or you can download this free one).

Background checks are crucial as are character assessments. Talk to those who know the people serving in your ministry to make sure they are who they say they are.

Wonder Ink’s 3-year, 52-week children’s ministry curriculum offers kids space to fully find their place in God’s Big Story. Children discover they are Known by God, Loved by Jesus, and Led by the Holy Spirit.

4. Train

It’s essential to have a plan for effective volunteer training. Solid training will prepare them to excel in their role and grow as leaders.

We encourage annual volunteer training, new volunteer training, and ongoing types of training whether offered digitally or in person.

5. Evaluate & Follow Up

We want to invite questions, communicate with volunteers, and stay curious about how they’re doing in the ministry. So it’s important to follow up and evaluate how things are going.

And in this is appreciation. Making sure your team is seen and heard is key in supporting them for the future.

A team working together is the best kind to be a part of.

Support Volunteers: Encouragement in Ministry

Once we have our leaders in place, we do things periodically throughout the year to help build morale, share vision, and encourage them. Sharing something as simple as thank you cards when we’ve seen how God is working in them, or mailing birthday cards letting them know they’re loved.

Share volunteer highlights with your team and have encouragement events too! There are so many ways we can encourage our volunteers in ministry—texts, emails, events, calls, dinners together, and so much more. Be sure to include encouragement in your ministry culture.

A team working together is the best kind to be a part of.

There is no doubt that one of the biggest reasons we are able to see kids and families grow in faith is because of the amazing leaders we have in children’s ministry.