One of the biggest challenges in Kids Ministry is a shortage of volunteers. There never seems to be enough of them.
I have volunteered for other people before and I have taken what I learned from that experience to see volunteering from a different perspective.
Don’t ask the question before you paint the picture – Announcements, general emails, posters, videos, power point slides etc. They may not result in droves of people banging down your door to ‘sign up’ but they do help raise awareness that you need help. You need to paint the picture of WHY this ministry is so amazingly important. Paint the picture of why you need their help.
Don’t be vague on what you are asking – Be clear on what you need them to do & what it will take to get the job done.
Don’t take their time for granted – My time is valuable. I don’t want to show up just to be an extra set of hands. I want a specific job to do and feel like they would be in big trouble if I wasn’t there to fill that role.
Don’t think that no response means ‘no’ – Sometimes people hear you ask the question, but they have to go through a process before they get to the place where they can commit to a ‘yes’. Maybe they have to check their work schedule, or ask their spouse to take care of the kids. Maybe they read your email on their phone, but were busy at the time and forgot to respond. All of these things take time. Consistent, gentle reminders are usually effective to keep the idea in front of people. And then, when you give them a personal ask, the chances are way better that they will be willing to help.
Don’t think that ‘no’ means ‘never’ – Timing is everything. It just might not be a good time for them to help. Or, the job you are asking them to do doesn’t light a fire in them, but perhaps a different job will. Always have a back up plan. If now isn’t a good time, when would be better? If you don’t want to do this, would you consider that?
Usually people are willing to help. It’s your job to effectively communicate that you need help, and to help them find the right fit, at the right time.