What Were You Expecting?
Do your Children’s Ministry volunteers know what is expected of them?
What part of the night is your responsibility and which parts are theirs?
As I started to build the Wednesday night ministry in our church, I found it easiest (for me!) to explain the job to our volunteers “as we went along”. However, many volunteers like to be prepared ahead of time. Communicating expectations ahead of time not only allows volunteers to prepare, it also prevents a total meltdown if something unexpected comes up. There’s nothing worse than being a brand new volunteer, facing a group of 3rd graders, with no clear direction because the Children’s Ministry director had to take care of a last-minute emergency.
So, based on the recommendation of some of friends over at CMConnect, I put together a job responsibility handout for our Team. I posted it below in case you’re looking for some inspiration to make your own job description for your team!
Welcome to the Team!
We are so glad to have you as part of the Kids for Christ Team and want to make sure you are equipped to do the best job possible. It’s important work you are participating in each week: helping to shape the spiritual lives of the children. With each lesson, each song, each prayer, a child may be moving one step closer to making a decision for Christ or growing in their devotion to the Lord. Think about the impact you are making!
These are a Team Member’s responsibilities:
1. Engage! Engage! Engage!
Even though you may not be scheduled to teach up front for a particular night, your help is still needed! Whenever something “surprising” happens, a couple of gasps in the audience goes a long way to get kids involved. Whenever something happy or exciting happens, a few well placed cheers help kids catch the attitude of the lesson. These gasps, cheers, and other audience sound effects are where you come in! You are acting in the lesson each week too, but from a different stage. You may not be up front, but you can be assured kids are watching you. Think about your facial expressions and body language as the lesson progresses in front of you. Engage with the lesson at hand, and not side conversations. Make Kids for Christ come alive as you jump in and participate each week!
I once read, “The better you prepare you lesson, the greater chance the Holy Spirit has to move”. I have to agree. If you’re glued to your lesson book or scrambling to figure out your props, you’re not going to be able to gauge the kids reactions as well and listen to that still small voice of God. So go ahead, practice a bit at home. Give the lesson to your kids, your spouse, or the crazy neighbor next door in order to get ready. Trust me, I know from experience that something can look like a cinch on paper, but comes out very different when trying to teach to children!
3. Participate in Songs
We want to teach kids what it means to worship through singing. A great way to do this is to give them role models during singing time (that’s you!). Men, be especially mindful of this since singing is traditionally seen as a “girl thing”. We try to repeat songs often enough for both kids and adults to learn them. Jump on in! Do the motions! Act a little crazy! Nudge the kid next to you if he’s not getting up and grooving! Let’s create a great atmosphere for worship together.
4. Connect with your Small Group Kids
Studies show that kids are more likely to remain engaged with the church post-high school if they have connected with adults in the congregation other than their parents. This is huge! You have the opportunity to make a big difference in the lives of these kids. During prayer time, I encourage you to write down the requests and take them to the Lord during the week. Check back on things the next week. If someone from your circle is missing for a week, send them a postcard and let them know you have noticed. Ask about school, family, pets – get to know them in a real way. Sit next to them during song time or lesson time. You’ll be surprised at how this will continue to affect their spiritual growth through the years.
Thank you so much for all your help.
This ministry could not succeed without you!!
What About You?
What expectations do you have for your volunteers? I’d love to hear about it!
More Stuff You Might Want to Check Out:
- Defining Success in Ministry
- Our Volunteer Wishlist
- Thankful for These Turkeys: Thanksgiving Themed Volunteer Appreciation
- Learning to Let Go