- Do you ever find yourself dreading a church service because you
won't have enough help -- again?
- Have you ever actually hoped attendance would be down in a
- Do you attend "church on tape" because you can count on one
hand the times this year you've attended an adult service?
- Have you ever thought to yourself that if you hear just one
more person say, "Children just aren't my ministry," you'll
- Have you considered joining the choir (it seems like everyone
else does) so you can escape the classroom?
- Do other people in your church view children's ministry as
- Do you think a senior pastor getting up on Sunday morning and
"really giving it to them" is an effective recruitment method?
- Have you ever closed a classroom because there was no teacher
- Can you really assure that there's adequate adult-to-child
ratios in all your classrooms every time the doors are open?
- Are you ready for an approach to building healthy children's
If you answered yes to any of the questions in this pop quiz,
it's time to take a fresh look at your core beliefs about
recruitment and team building in your children's ministry. There's
a saying that there are three things you'll always have to grapple
with in children's ministry -- time, space, and money. For the most
part, that's true if you're part of a growing ministry.
But, if we were to be completely honest, the #1 cry that's heard
all over the world in children's ministry is: Are there ever enough
volunteers to meet the needs?
Yes...if you stop focusing on recruiting teachers only. Instead,
change your focus to building ministry teams, finding good leaders,
and involving parents in the classroom. Our 450-volunteer staff in
children's ministry didn't happen with recruitment campaigns,
pulpit appeals, or guilt-trip responses.
This staff happened because we intentionally focused on
structuring our classrooms to operate on a team method, and we were
willing to overhaul everything we ever thought about recruitment
Choosing Leaders First
Many years ago, I realized I needed to stop finding only
teachers and start looking for good leaders first. Our leaders
don't have to be great teachers or, in fact, know much of anything
about kids. Skills can be taught. Understanding of children can be
taught. Leadership principles can be taught, but not everyone has
Our leaders have to be natural leaders. Of course I want great
teachers, but many teachers aren't necessarily good classroom
leaders or team builders. Yet in most churches, we ask each teacher
to be the classroom leader, team builder, administrator, cook,
maid, first-aid provider, disciplinarian, usher, and if there's
time left over, teacher. Our first priority is finding leaders who
can orchestrate all the things that need to be done and free up
teachers to do what they're called to do -- teach!