When it comes to recruiting and keeping volunteers, some people seem to have a knack for it.
Holly Terry, Children’s Pastor at Bethel Life in Greenville, Pennsylvania, would be one of those people. Children’s Ministry team member, Lindsey Snider, talked with Pastor Holly about how she approaches her volunteer ministry and what she does to keep it continually growing.
Pastor Holly says, “The volunteers at Bethel Life, well, they are amazing people. The best recruitment has always been one-on-one, and it still is. I have encouraged people that when they are talking to someone… listen to what they are saying and you will hear what moves their heart. Whether it be computers, adults, children, decorating, parties, crafts, etc.; when you hear these things, this is a great way to direct them to where to get involved.”
She talked about a class they offer volunteers called “Connections”. This is a Sunday morning class that happens for four weeks. The first Sunday is START- this is about the church history and who they are. The second Sunday is GROW- how to connect to small groups. The third Sunday is SERVE- discovering each individuals gifts and talents then introducing them to opportunities at Bethel where they can serve. The fourth Sunday is SHARE- how to share their faith with others and the tools they need to help share their faith. This method gives people the opportunity to see what they offer at Bethel Life and where they can get connected. Once they fill out a paper stating where they may be interested, it is given to one of the leaders of that department and they make a phone call to them. That leader sets up a meeting, discusses in detail the position, and then Pastor Holly provides them a welcome aboard kit. Each kit has a folder with application, information about their position, a welcome letter and a CM T-shirt, bracelet and pen. She will introduce them to the Lead coordinator of that ministry where they exchange contact information and connect.
A tool that has been helpful in keeping track of their volunteer schedule is called “Planning Center”. Once they find out the volunteer’s time and availability to serve, they are added to Planning Center. This system allows an app to be placed on each volunteer’s phone to help in setting the schedule and sending text alerts.
Pastor Holly said they have reached a place where they have a large number of new people entering the church and are looking at ways to display what they offer that may interest the person’s heart to get connected. One idea they are beginning is called the “SAY YES” campaign. Pastor Holly says, “I follow a Children’s Ministry page on Facebook that showed them doing ‘SAY YES’ campaign. This truly touched my heart and inspired me to do the same. Instead of saying ‘please volunteer!’ I can ask them to ‘Say Yes’ to where you can invest, get involved, use your talents that God has placed in you to benefit others. Find out where you can ‘SAY YES!’ This campaign is going to be a display that stays out at Bethel Life where we will show all the ministries that need you to ‘SAY YES’. The display is made out of crates and the lighted letters on top spell out SAY YES with string across the crates. We will have little cards where they fill out their information with the ministries they are interested in.”
Pastor Holly has come to realize that maintaining a great relationship with her volunteers is done by staying in constant contact. She says, “Whether it is by text, a card, talking with them on Sunday, or little gifts to say thank you; it’s about reminding people that Children’s Ministry is not possible without them! They have a rare opportunity to share and show the love of Christ to these little ones. Let’s make it count when we have them in our responsibility!”
About the Author
Children’s Ministries Team
Creative Specialist (Discipleship Ministries)
Lindsey was born and raised in Oklahoma. She graduated from Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in 2007 with a degree in Counseling and a minor in Bible. Lindsey has served as a Community Outreach Pastor, Kids Pastor and Media Pastor. Lindsey and her husband, Jared, have two beautiful children, Brooklyn and Jack. Lindsey loves to travel with her family, blow bubbles with her kids, cheer on the Texas Rangers with her hubby, and cuddle with their dog, Frisco.