Mar 15, 2010

Titanic or Carnival Cruise Ship?


The success of your children’s ministry depends on the strength of the volunteer team you build. This means you should always be inviting people to join your volunteer team. One of the best things you can do to help grow your team is to create a culture that people want to be a part of.

Think of it like this…are you inviting people to join the Titanic? People don’t want to be part of a sinking ship. Here’s some tell tale signs you’re asking people to get on board the Titanic…

• You place ads in the worship guide that use the word “need.”
• You guilt people into serving.
• You are more concerned about filling holes than helping people find their sweet spot in ministry.
• The only time you connect with parents is when you are asking them to serve.
• You are using new volunteers for multiple tasks and burning them out.
• You ask the Pastor to beg for volunteers for you from the pulpit.
• You shove a new volunteer into a classroom with forty 4 year olds…and one other adult.

But people will line up to be part of a Carnival Cruise ship. People want to be part of something that is a fun adventure, feels like family, and knows where it’s headed. Here are some good signs that your children’s ministry has a Carnival Cruise culture going on…

• People are joining your team because a friend who loves serving invited them.
• People are joining your team because they see an opportunity to make an impact with their life.
• There are lots of smiles and laughter.
• Volunteers are placed in positions that line up with their passions and gifts.
• Volunteers are forming small groups and meeting together for Bible study and prayer during the week.
• You have parties with the volunteer team with no “training” involved.
• Volunteers regularly share stories of how serving has helped them grow in their faith.
• Volunteers clearly understand the mission of the ministry and the part they play in fulfilling that mission.
• Volunteers go home energized and excited about serving.

Take an honest look at your ministry. If a survey was taken in your congregation, which type ship would they say represents your children’s ministry? The people in your congregation have a perceived view of your children’s ministry that is based on the culture that currently exists. And this perceived view is one of the biggest factors in growing your volunteer team.

A first step in achieving a positive perception is to stop sending out distress signals. Instead, invite people to join you for the experience of a lifetime! Once your children’s ministry gets the reputation of being a Carnival Cruise ship, you will find it much easier to grow your team. It will still be a lot of work, but you will now have the winds of momentum propelling you forward.

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