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How Creating a Summer Team Helped Our Children’s Ministry


Like most churches, new volunteers at our church come on board through a variety of avenues. People can sign up on Sunday morning, at our new attender class, are invited by friends, or may be recruited through specific promotions.

Six years ago we decided to recruit to a very specific volunteer team for children’s ministry: The Summer Team. Creative name, I know. Actually, the name is one part of the strategy behind it. The goal was to recruit people to serve in children’s ministry for July & August only. They choose how many times they serve, the environment and role they’ll serve in. The Summer Team ultimately serves two purposes.

Provide a break for volunteers

The primary purpose of the Summer Team is to provide a break for our regular volunteers, particularly those in weekly roles. It also helps fill the natural voids that come up during summer months while people are on vacation.

Help people serve for the first time

The Summer Team was also created to help people take the step of serving for the first time. In the previous post, I wrote about 3 fears people have when it comes to volunteering. The Summer Team opportunity addresses those 3 fears easily because it starts with a volunteer orientation where people will be equipped (so they don’t look stupid). The opportunity is for the summer only, so they don’t have to worry about serving forever or what to do if they don’t enjoy it.

We do provide the opportunity for people to continue serving in a regular volunteer role. The results vary each year, but we see anywhere from 30-60% of the summer team stay on in specific role throughout the year after trying it out.

How we do it

We plan a Summer Team Orientation date/time and promote it for about 4-5 weeks through multiple avenues. Last year we used a video created primarily by parents in our church recording their kids. Click here to see the video we created.

At the Orientation we introduce them to children’s ministry and describe all the environments and volunteer roles involved. They fill out an application that gives them the chance to let us know how many times they would like to serve, which dates they aren’t available, and what age groups they would like to work with. From there we place them on the schedule and point to a date to observe and learn the ropes before jumping in.

The Summer Team opportunity has been great for our ministry and I hope it can help yours as well.