We all need volunteers to run ministries.
No matter the size of your church or staff, you rely on volunteers to do the work.
And it’s not because you aren’t capable.
In so many instances, you can do a lot of the ministry amazingly on your own.
But there isn’t enough time.
And I have news for you friend, you weren’t meant to do it alone.
Jesus & Paul’s Examples
Jesus’ leadership reminds us that he had help.
He called 3, then 12, then 72 to do the kingdom’s work.
Right before he was crucified, he told the 12 disciples that they will do more incredible miracles than he did because he entrusted the kingdom work to them.
From there, the Apostle Paul went on to plant and organize churches in Asia and Europe, delegating the kingdom work to the followers of Jesus.
While he traveled to proclaim Jesus’ message and plant more churches, he encouraged the churches through letters.
Paul was not present to do the actual work of ministry.
He shared his leadership with lay people to do the kingdom work that Jesus gave the disciples and apostles to do.
The Modern Church
2000 years later, administrating churches in the modern world, our church members place a high emphasis on paid staff to do ministry work.
But as leaders, we must remember that Jesus’ disciples were not paid staff.
They were tentmakers, fishermen, businesswomen, and other occupations, just like your congregation members.
Your members have jobs to do in the kingdom within your church, just as Jesus’ followers did years ago.
With this in mind, let’s consider common and uncommon creative volunteer roles that you can adopt to empower your church members to do the work of the ministry to the kids in your church.
Each role has a description and skills to look for in your community to find someone who is the right fit.
Do you need copies of yourself during church events to be upfront?
Every leader does.
And in your church, there are plenty of people who aren’t afraid to be on stage, they just might not see a place for them. The first six roles are focused on these volunteer roles.
1. Sunday Morning Producer/Hype Maker
Role: This leader helps to welcome the volunteers to Sunday mornings, and leads a meeting before kids ministry begins to gather the leaders around the day’s objective and set up the leaders of success with their supplies and assignments. It’s a great opportunity to pray and set the tone for the spiritual leadership of the kids for the day.
Skills to look for: Upfront leadership presence; spiritual maturity; the desire to care well for leaders; great problem-solving skills; relational and community-focused.
2. Small Group Leader
Role: This leader will lead the kids through the activities including discussion questions, crafts, games, and missions projects (depending on what your church does).
Skills to look for: Can do classroom management; enjoys interacting with kids; has great character and spiritual maturity; is willing to be silly and interactive; is aware of diverse needs; can engage shy or talkative children with grace.
Role: Leaders who take this role communicate bible stories in engaging and exciting ways.
Skills to look for: Understand God’s Word and have a working relationship with Jesus; use their imagination to think of fun ideas; are good at taking feedback or direction; can be any age as long as they know the Bible.
4. Worship Leader
Role: Help kids connect to God through musical worship.
Skills to look for: Have the heart to worship God AND have the skills to do it.
5. Welcome Host
Role: Saying hello and getting kids checked in is this volunteer’s jam!
Skills to look for: Aren’t intimidated by computers or manual check-in processes; really like to help kids and parents feel welcome; love to help new people find their way around the church; have a winsome personality.
6. Undercover Security
Role: These volunteers keep their eyes and ears open to make sure everyone is safe. They are trained in safety, and basic first aid, and watch the entrances for possible trouble.
Skills to look for: Can handle blood without panicking or throwing up; pay attention to who is new and who is a regular attendee; do background checks on people for fun. Optional: will use self-defense if necessary.
Some volunteer roles are necessary for the ministry to function.
They aren’t upfront, but they prepare the Sunday morning or mid-week leaders for success by getting things ready behind the scenes.
The Apostle Paul designates administration as a spiritual leadership gift in 1 Corinthians 12.
Personally, I have found seniors to be some of the best assets to the administration of the church because they have years of experience in kids’ ministry but might not be as physically able to serve with little or even bigger kids.
They can be a blessing to children’s pastors because they are able to serve by organizing the details.
7. Curriculum Gatherer
Role: Find the popsicle sticks, yarn, and Elmer’s glue for kids in the back of the kids’ ministry cupboard to make the next amazing craft at kid’s church.
Skills to look for: Great at problem-solving, counting items, and organizing; doesn’t think any task is too small; notices broken crayons and dull pencils and swaps them out.
Role: Calendaring is their idea of a favorite pastime. These volunteers will look at a month, define the needs then find people to serve in the spaces.
Skills to look for: Can handle several “no’s” and will keep going until the spot is filled; great attention to detail; loves working with people to find their sweet spot in ministry; can use Church Community Builder, Planning Center People or Excel Spreadsheets to organize the month.
9. Birthday/Missing You Card Sender
Role: Kids in your ministry love to know that their children’s pastor is thinking about them. But writing cards might be another task that is left undone each month. This volunteer is happy to write out cards and get them in the mail to send birthday wishes or hope to see you soon cards.
Skills to look for: Loves correspondence; has time to sit and write meaningful messages to kids; knows where the post office is and the price of stamps.
Your church is bound to have a Christmas concert, Easter egg extravaganza, prayer night, or another special event with additional tasks to do. Consider inviting people outside of kids ministry to help you with these tasks.
10. Events Team Prep
Role: These are your artists, craftspeople, and physical laborers. They might even be your bean counters or costume makers. They can help get everything organized for the events to be ready.
Skills to look for: Like the administrative volunteers, these helpers can hunt down items for crafts, recruit volunteers, or build sets, backdrops, or play structures.
11. Event Team On-Site Volunteers
Role: Whatever their role, these volunteers like to be with the people. From greeting to ushering, running a carnival booth to making a meal, these volunteers are able to serve and can do it with a smile on their faces.
Skills to look for: Whatever they do on a Sunday morning for adults or kids at the church, they can do at a special event. They must be happy, outgoing, and ready to serve.
12. Event Team Clean-Up Crew
Role: Wear a backpack vacuum and clean up the hay from the petting zoo; not afraid of a little glitter in the carpet or getting twinkle lights from the ceiling.
Skills to look for: Might not like to be the star of the show, but are happy to put it away after it’s done.
We have a unique opportunity to empower kids to serve in the church.
Many times, kids want to be involved, but they just need an invitation.
From personal experience, I have seen kids start as ministry attendees and turn into the best small group leaders, worship team members, or sound booth techs for kids ministry.
Don’t underestimate the power of kids in leadership.
It can foster ownership and leadership for the next generation’s faith formation.
13. Toddler/Preschool Class Assistant
Role: These are your babysitters in training; your toddler-lovers, and craft passer-outers extraordinaire. They love to be on the floor with kids and they aren’t bored by building with blocks, hearing “Jesus Loves Me” in little voices, or passing out Goldfish crackers or Veggie Straws each week.
Skills to look for: Love the babies and preschoolers; are great helpers with a lead teacher; aren’t afraid to jump in and help out with little kids in the foyer.
14. Worship Team Singer or Musician
Role: Have some kids with musical talent in your church? Can they sing, play the piano or drums? Love to worship God in song and dance? These kids help to lead and model worship for younger kids at church.
Skills to look for: Can sing, play an instrument, or dance; Aren’t afraid to be up on stage; love Jesus and can authentically show that while serving.
15. Sound Booth/Tech Leader
Role: Let’s face it, kids these days are GREAT with technology and can probably troubleshoot issues better than we can. Kids in these roles can run PowerPoint Presentations, roll videos and music, and work the lights.
Skills to look for: Are helpful, tech-savvy, and arrive early.
16. Bible Story Reader
Role: The Bible needs to be read out loud in front of kids. Even better are kids modeling reading scripture in front of kids. This is a great way to include kids in your lesson.
Skills to look for: Not afraid to speak in front of their peers; can read the text well; can practice with a parent or adult before Sunday.
17. Clean Up Crew
Role: Have to roll up mats? Clean up infant toys? Vacuum up Cheerios? This role is so valuable and easy for kids to do.
Skills to look for: These kids like to keep their life neat; they are happy to serve; finding the missing piece of a puzzle is rewarding to them.
If you read this list and it seems overwhelming, take a step back and ask yourself, “What role do I need help with right away?”
This is a great way to define what you need and what you don’t need, and it can create an avenue for you to ask your church members to get more involved in specific ways.
What other volunteer positions can you think of that would help your ministry to grow and thrive?
Chances are, you have volunteers in your church that can be a gift to your kids, you just haven’t asked them to help yet.