Why are volunteers always in short supply?
Many churches are always in short supply of volunteers as to maintain a good quality team.
Very few times have I ever heard a church say, “we are so blessed to have so many volunteers that we are never is short supply”.
Over the years, I have seen many churches handle this situation in different ways, and it works well for some, while others it is always a burden and a bug bear to beg people to help.
Some churches have a large amount of hands, but very few teachers that will take the lead and go the extra mile to bring quality lessons and make visual aids to bring an exciting lesson to the children they teach.
Do you also have no budget?
Many churches have people who have such a passion for kids and would go the extra mile, but just do not have the financial resources to make the necessary props.
For centuries, no matter what children’s church book you read, you will read that children’s ministries are usually the last on the budget list.
Churches will pump money into the young adults, but seldom into the children’s ministry. As children don’t earn money and they don’t bring finances to the church, the children’s ministry in reality is a financial liability to the church. (Let me say that it is not ALL churches, but quite a large number of churches.)
However what needs to be remembered, is that you are building into your future church, it is like putting money into an investment that will only show returns later in life.
I have mentioned the 4 – 14 year window in my other posts, however in a nutshell, children between the ages of 4 & 14 years, are like sponges, if you teach them strong biblical principles before the ages of 14, they are more than likely to keep to those principles. However if you have never taught a child to tithe or give into the kingdom of God,( to take care of God’s church) they will more than likely battle to do it after the age of 14. All teens go through a rebellious stage and it would be so much harder to teach a youth at this age to give, if they have not been taught it when they are young.
Proverbs 22:6 says “train up a child in the way he must go, and when he is old, it shall not depart from him”.
It is so sad to see churches put all their attention on the other departments of ministry, but the children are so often neglected.
Some churches use people who are doing bible school to volunteer in the children’s ministry as part of their practical for bible school. It is a wonderful way to get “hands”, however they are there only because they they have to be and then in a year or so they are gone, So yes they are hands for the ministry, but not all have a passion and see the vision for the kids.
All the training and input you have put into that person, might not be a waste, but for those that are called to children’s ministry, I have seen how the “called ones” have to move over for the “Bible School students” and give them a chance to teach and be a part of the Sunday service, and at the end of the year, they are gone and you have not grown in your service because of your stepping aside.Can be very frustrating for some called to be a children’s church teacher.
Other churches only ask for people to be on once every 4 – 6 weeks, which works well for them, and all seems to be happy, for me, I feel its filling a roster, but not building a ministry.
If I only see a child every 4 – 6 weeks, I am not going to build a relationship with that child or be able to speak into that child’s life.
If you have a class of 30 – 50 kids, and no matter what age group that is, I only find that children open up to you once you are able to build a trusting relationship with them. If you see them only once every 4 – 6 weeks, it will take so much longer to build a relationship if it ever does.
They will bond with people who are on duty more often.
If you are just managing the chaos on a Sunday for 2 hours, then you are not building meaning relationships or a ministry.
How do you ever get to building quality puppet, or drama teams when people are their for a year and then you have to start all over again to build another team. (Just my observation over the years)
I have been blessed to ministry to the masses as well in a 10 kids children’s church and I was very adamant that the masses were the way to go, however God has really shown and taught me the blessing of ministering to the individual and the small classes of kids, and I have been blown away at God’s hand on our small ministry and the growth in each and every kid in our group.
If I look at the different methods of the different churches we have ministered at over the years, each ministry does the best they can with what they have, and sometimes using bible school students or un-equipped volunteers is the only way to go.
My focus has changed over the years, I am so blessed to have witnessed the work of God in the smaller churches and the anointing of the Holy Spirit in our classes each week.
Some Sunday’s we know that a lot of kids are away on holiday and don’t expect a lot of kids, and then God brings new families with 5 extra kids in our class and we have such an amazing time ministering to these kids that we are left Gob smacked at How God showed up and these kids were so receptive to the lesson and the work of the Holy spirit.
Luke 10:2 He (Jesus) told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
We know labourers are few in most children’s churches, (labourers will come and labourers will go) however, God says to pray to Him (being the Lord of the Harvest) that he will send labourers.
I have seen in many ministries how God has added labourers, however it is always by our choice, God tugs at our hearts to get involved in our local churches, and many answer the call for a while…. and then move on.
Children’s ministry is a hard ministry, you arrive with a trailer of tables, chairs, props, cups, trays, sound equipment and the list goes on, setting up and packing away and some of the times you are all alone…. you know who you are and whom I am talking to.
To all those ministers that have continued faithfully in the calling that God spoke to you about many years ago. I want to take this opportunity to salute and honour you for obeying the call and for seeing purpose and God’s plan in ministering to God’s children.
You do not know the eternal impact you are sowing seeds now that might only be harvested one day when you are no longer on this earth.
However there are many unheard of hero’s and heroines who obeyed the call of God and served him faithfully for years and never got a THANK YOU, or any recognition whatsoever.
I believe those unheard of children’s church helpers and teachers will get their full reward when they reach heaven, and it will be worth all the lifetime tears and heartache when you hear Jesus saying to you “Well done thy good and faithful servant”.
Continue with the call, take courage, even if you never get recognised for your hard work or ever thanked by your leadership, you are firstly working for God, and then his children.
He is a re-warder of those that diligently seek Him.
Many Blessings to you all.