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Real Men Do Teach!

Gordon West

Historically, children's ministry has been predominantly staffed by women. According to George Barna, "Women are almost twice as likely as men" to teach Sunday school. But in our church, we're evening the odds. Currently, 45 percent of our children's Sunday school staff is male.

Here are 6 things we've done to improve our ratio:

1. We help men view children's programs as significant ministry.

Men want to be involved in valuable, important endeavors. Men are conquerors. Give them a challenge, and they'll rise to the occasion. Few men are motivated by a sense of guilt or a desire to rescue a desperate situation. So the all-too-common methods of recruitment just don't work on men. They're savvy enough to know that if the children's pastor is begging for volunteers, something must be wrong with the program.

 

So we've changed our recruiting strategy. Before each recruiting appeal, we create several photo ops so people can see the exciting work accomplished in young lives. We have monthly nonrecruiting events-open houses in the Sunday school rooms, children singing in worship services, testimonies from staff or children, or student projects and/or pictures posted in view of the Sunday morning foot traffic. We want men to catch the vision and excitement of children's ministry before they're ever asked to help out.

2. We abandon the stereotype that children are "women's work."

Men need to know that other men in the church are involved with and excited about kids. So we get men to recruit men. And it works. Unlike the traditional Sunday school room, our fifth- and sixth-graders are taught by seven male teachers and only one woman-talk about change! At the beginning of this term, we had to actively recruit a woman teacher for our toddler program, since we're convinced men and women are important at each age level...and we already had three male teachers!

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