Currently we are scheduling our volunteers in our children’s ministry for the summer trimester; when I made a sudden discovery. I have more men serving in our preschool environment than women. During my 11 years of ministry one thing has become clear; in the few churches I have served in, the children’s ministry tend to attract more women than male volunteers. My observations may be different from other churches but needless to say when I began leading the family ministry at my current church I established clear goal of inspiring, recruiting and placing more men into our children’s ministry.
Now my goal was not to ban women from ministry, but to balance. Other than our preschool, most of my other ministry has an abundance of women volunteers…so we are far from balanced. However, you might ask how did I get men to sign-up, show and serve in the children’s area. Here are a couple things I have done:
Direct Ask// I have been amazed over and over again of the power in the direct ask. At worst, men who are approached to serve in the Children’s ministry have questions and desire to know what all goes into serving the children’s life. Most men fear simple things like “I don’t want to be alone with kids” or “I don’t change diapers”. In our ministry our ministry all volunteers are not allowed to change diapers and our policy requires at least two adults in each room environment. A simple ask can make a world of difference when it comes to recruiting men into the KidMin. Be prepared to share expectations, explain the importance of their participation and inspire them to “step up”.
Create Specific Roles// Some men may not volunteer because the roles do not fit their character. For instance, some men will be uncomfortable singing and leading songs in front of preschoolers, while others are not the best stage people. In our ministry I began involving the men in security and construction. This was a great role for men to actually be involved with the kid’s environment and as men saw fellow dads serving in the children’s it opened the door to more men becoming involved.
Be Involved in Man Stuff// If you want to get more men involved in the ministry be where the men are. For me, I run a men’s group and regularly meet with the dads whose kids are in our ministry. IF you are a female kidmin this might be more challenging. Find ways to support the men’s ministries by providing food for events or connecting with the men’s ministry leader and discovering how you can help behind the scenes. Create a bridge and then cross that bridge to pull men to the children’s ministry.
Sustain Culture// After you recruit a couple of men begin sharing stories and talk about how “cool” it is to be a guy who serves in the children’s ministry. The lead pastor can help by dropping hints in sermons and encourage fellow male volunteers to share & outreach with other guys. If you begin noticing decreasing amount of men in the children’s volunteer roster do not settle; start re-building immediately and sharpen your focus to recruit more male volunteers.
It has been very beneficial to have males in the children’s area. Males interact differently with the kids and they provide a better worldview of Christianity to the impressionable youth. I am curious to know how well your ministry recruits and retains men in the children’s ministry; how are you doing when it comes to male volunteers in your children’s ministry?