Sep 6, 2017

7 Ways to Get More Students Serving in Your Children's Ministry

Students can make a huge impact in children's ministry.  Every dynamic children's ministry I know has many students serving in their ministry.

Students can bring excitement & energy to a children's ministry.  The zeal of youth balanced by the wisdom of older adults is a dynamic combination.

Students can bring the "cool" factor to your children's ministry.  Who do kids look up to?  Students.  Who do kids want to be like?  Students.  Who do kids want to be around?  Students.  Turn over to the Disney and Nickelodeon channels and you'll see lots of students as the focal point.

Students usually have more free time to volunteer.   Yes, they are busy, but aren't as bound by work schedules, family responsibilities, etc.

Do you want students serving in your children's ministry?  Do you have a few, but need more?  Here's 7 proven ways to get students serving with you.

Go to them. 
Instead of sitting back and waiting for them to come to you, go to them.  Volunteer at a student ministry event.  Ask for a few minutes to share about children's ministry at a student ministry gathering.  Visit student ministry small groups and invite them to serve.

Invite them to a purpose.  Students want to make a difference.  They are looking for ways to make an impact.  Show them the huge impact they can make in children's ministry and invite them to join you. 

Ask students who are currently serving to invite their friends to serve with them. 
Students obviously love to hang out together.  This includes serving together as well.  Be intentional about asking students to invite their friends to serve with them. 

Partner with the student pastor. 
Usually when a student pastor is hesitant about encouraging students to serve in children's ministry, it's because he or she is afraid it will pull them out of student ministry.  Meet with your student pastor and assure him or her that you will not pull the students away from student ministry.  In fact, make it a requirement that students who serve in children's ministry must commit to stay actively involved in student ministry. 

Free students up to serve.  Studies show that students who serve will stick with their faith into their adult years rather than walking away.  This is a big reason why it's important to give them the margin they need to serve.

Many churches have focused on this by moving all their student ministry services and events off of the weekend, thus freeing up students to serve on weekends.  Other ministries have found great success in having their student small groups meet on Sunday morning before the children's ministry starts and then the groups transition into serving when the service starts.  This is a great way to have entire student ministry groups serving together.

Invite them to serve first at a special event. 
A great place to start is inviting students to serve at a special event like VBS, camp, day trip, etc.  After their initial serve, go back and invite them to join the team on a permanent basis.  If you help them have a great first serving experience, there's a good chance they'll say "yes" to your second invite.

Personally ask them.  When I was in high school, I was not serving anywhere in the church.  It just wasn't on my radar.  Basketball was on my radar.  Girls were on my radar.  My car was on my radar.  Serving was not.

Then my youth pastor came and personally asked me to help in children's ministry.  At first, I told him "no."  But he was persistent.  And after a few asks, I said "yes, I'll give it a try."  That was 34 years ago.  I'm still serving in children's ministry today.

There's no substitute for approaching a student, sitting down with him or her, sharing your vision for children's ministry and then asking them to join you.  Just think, if you do this faithfully and just get one "yes" a month, this time next year you will have 12 new student ministry volunteers.  And those 12 can take the ministry to a whole new level!

You can get lots of more great ideas for building up your volunteer team in my book The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams.  It is available at this link.

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