Many people have said that the primary job of the new church planter (or multi-site campus pastor) is “butts in the seats and bucks in the plate.” There is certainly truth to that wisdom when done for the right reasons. The first 12-18 months is all about networking, staying excited, and conveying your enthusiasm to the spiritually searching.
But once the launch has taken place, those first year(s) can be equally challenging to get the right people in the right places. Kid’s ministry can be a particular challenge because the planter generally only has one worship experience. To volunteer in Kids means missing the worship that week. So what’s the best way to recruit, draw, persuade others to join in and help out?
Most often, the new plant does not have a developed process of “discovering your spiritual gifts” or assessment process. Even if a great process is not yet in place, every ministry must have appropriate safety and background checks in place before going public. It is no longer optional! Four quick tips include…..
1. Personal Recruitment.
The new church planter or campus pastor is in the best seat on the bus to observe the others. He/she needs to determine quickly who might serve very well with children. You certainly want people who connect with kids, can make stories from the Bible come alive, are consistent in attendance, and will work with a team.
2. Program dropouts.
In our early days, when we needed help in various servant ministries, we would target that ministry for 2-3 consecutive weekends with a “sign-and-drive” dropout that is stuffed into the program. This allows the host or campus pastor to highlight the ministry during announcements. I recommend a few pictures as well so that people can actually see the space and the cute kids.
3. Direct Connect.
Direct Connect is what we call a “Ministry Fair” that can be done quarterly after all worship services. Banners can be invested in one time, then set up each time near tables with leaders behind every one. Sign-up sheets give people a chance to do so immediately after worship. They can come with their questions and have them answered by real people who are friendly and alive. Every time we do this during the course of the year, we also preach on the value of serving that weekend. This gives you at least 4 motivational times per year.
On the last one we did in the summer of 2015, I was able to turn a message on the minor prophet Zechariah into a motivation to serve by choosing the passage out of Chapter 4:6-10. God wants to do something through you. God wants you to make a move. God wants you to start where you are with what you have. (Don’t despise the small things….) The Direct Connect had over 110 sign-ups that day. Many were kid’s workers for the fall.
4. Encourage those you already have to recruit 1-2 more.
Many times people will recruit their friends who will ultimately make serving more fun for both of them. Don’t underestimate this valuable recruiting method. We use it in all of our areas to help pull in volunteers who might never be on our radar.
5. Do one thing and do it well.
At Cornerstone, we have always had this slogan. After 25 years, even new people can quote it. Many of your new church volunteers are doing too many things. Give them permission to say “no,” and they will give you even more dedication and loyalty. The church is the body of Christ. We need all the parts. Keep teaching people about the truth of Jesus’ model of serving, not being served.
Image Attribution: Blend Images / Thinkstock