5 Ways To Win As A Volunteer

5 Ways To Win As A Volunteer

Being a volunteer in Children’s ministry can be one of the greatest investments we make in our entire lives, but it can also be overwhelming and be defeating. We are constantly looking for ways to make the volunteering experience both fun and rewarding every week. Ultimately we have found that the most successful volunteers are the those who take responsibility for everything that goes on in their ministry and are constantly looking for ways to improve.

Here are 5 Ways To Win As A Volunteer

1. Prayer

It seems simple enough and maybe even a little silly to include “prayer”, because as a follower of Jesus it should be our default to approach every ministry opportunity. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Prayer should be our top priority. Prayer isn’t an option, it’s a must.

When we don’t pray, we do ministry in our own strength. Our greatest can never equal God’s worse. By not praying, we ensure our future failure and eventual burnout. Who wants to keep investing into a dying cause. Prayer let’s our hearts rest on this truth; It doesn’t depend on me, it depends on God.

2. Preparation

Preparation is probably the most under-valued key to ensuring a win on Sundays. Your preparation will only serve to help you keep children’s attention. Even two year old’s can sense when something is off.
The hardest part of your morning will be trying to regain your group of kids attention, because you were reading over the lesson while they sit and watch.
You can be used by God more effectively when you prepare in advance. It’s like tithing your time and on Sundays you will reap the rewards of your hard work.

3. Performance

Any time you are in front of a group of kids and want to convey a message, there is at least a small bit of performance required to captivate your audience. This is where you see the benefit of all of your preparation pay off.

When you are not having to use a script or lesson plan to guide you through service, you are able to flow well. You know what is coming up and that allows you to think more clearly.
(* side note: It is in this flow that you are also able to gauge what the Holy Spirit 
wants to do as well. There is so much freedom when we flow in the Spirit.)

4. Praise

Everyone loves to be praised. The key to building others up is to praise the things they do well. Even the most humble people still love to hear they are doing something well. Praise is essential to us feeling like we are hitting the mark!
Praise reinforces the actions we want to see from those we serve with and it reinforces the behavior we want to see from the kids we serve.
Kids are looking for recognition, whether positive or negative. When we choose to focus on the negative, instead of getting rid of the negative behavior, we only reinforce that the behavior will get our attention. Praise reinforces the positive behaviors. We should always be looking to praise kids more than we condemn them.

5. Parents

Never underestimate the value of partnering with parents. Parents have the greatest influence on their child’s life. If we guide parents through the lesson their kids have learned, it will double or even triple our effectiveness.
Parents are our greatest resource, our greatest volunteer base, and our greatest ally.
We want to inform parents of all of the great things their child has done that day and be discrete with them about any negative behaviors. It doesn’t mean we don’t tell them when “little Johnny” made a bad choice, because most parents want to know, but it does mean we don’t tell the parents while they are standing in the pick up line with other parents. Make sure to never shame a parent for their child’s behavior.

What ways have you found that volunteers “win” in ministry?

(please share in comments below)

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Greg Baird
Founder of Children's Ministry Leader at Children's Ministry Leader
My passion is seeing the lives of children transformed. I believe the best way to do that is to equip leaders in the local church to serve children, volunteers and parents to invest in the lives of children at church and in the home. That’s what we do here at Children’s Ministry Leader – equip leaders to create healthy Children’s & Family Ministry.
I serve as the Vice President of Global Resources in the Global Mission department at David C. Cook.

I love what I do as it is the outflow of 25 years of ministry experience as Children’s, Family & Administrative Pastor, consultant, trainer, speaker and short-term missions leader.

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