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
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
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!