It’s here! It’s finally here! Summer!
Do you remember waiting for summer to come all year long as a kid? We would countdown the days until summer would finally arrive…you know, the BEST time of year! No school, no bedtime, and ALL fun! Then, you grow up a little and become a children’s director, and it all changes. Even though we still love the summer excitement of backyard parties and VBS, we now have to deal with the dreaded volunteer situation.
Don’t fret anymore!
This could become your favorite time of year again!
First of all, what do you do when you have all of those volunteer holes to fill? This is a great time to call the parents of the kids in each small group/classroom. Ask them if they would like to serve for the summer. If they can’t serve all summer, find out if there are a few weeks they can give. Take time to remind them about “Mr. Bobby” and all he did for their child this school year. It’s ok to let them know that he needs time to refuel for the next school year and that they could help give back.
Also, bring back those VBS/Camp/Special Event leaders! Ask those volunteers that served for the week or event to come back and serve again on a Sunday over the summer. Again, if they can’t give you the whole summer, take the weeks they are available! Vision cast that the children from camp need to see familiar faces again to feel connected to the church. Don’t forget, the purpose of doing an outreach event is to bring those kids and families back into your building for further discipleship! What better way to do that then with those that built the relationship and first introduced them to a loving God!
Finally, go visit your church’s orientation or membership classes. Give those people looking for ways to connect to the church an opportunity to serve over the summer to get a taste of what children’s ministry is all about. Give them a non-committal opportunity and then, if they are made for it, those kids will tug at their heartstrings for you!
Now that you have your holes filled, CARE for these summer volunteers! Pull out all the stops. Remember to continue to vision cast, vision cast, vision cast! Remind them that they are valued and are making a difference in the lives of these precious children and families. This is your onramp to future full-time volunteers. Shower them with gifts, treats, cards, coffee, and make each one feel like an important part of the team! If you make their summer volunteer experience wonderful, why would they want to leave those sweet children in the fall? Work hard these summer months, and you will experience the fruit of your labor when you go to fill your small group leaders slots for the next school year.
Don’t forget! Most importantly, summer is when people check out churches for the first time. So make a great impression. You just did that huge VBS or Summer outreach, so guess what? They are all going to come back to see if your church on Sundays is just as great as the event they attended. Even though it is hard in the summer, put your best foot forward for new families and volunteers and watch summer become a catalyst for the rest of the year.
Who knows? It might become your favorite season again!