Do you have a difficult time when you go to recruit volunteers for summer in children's ministry?

Do you want to give your regular volunteers a break so they're refreshed and ready for a new school year?

Could you use a yearly on-ramp for potential volunteers that will address any fears they may have?

It's been almost 10 years since our church started a summer team of children's ministry volunteers. We started it to give regular volunteers a break and to help with summer schedules, but it turned out to be so much more. In this free webinar, we'll share everything we do to recruit volunteers for summer and everything we've learned about this key strategy we use. We'll also give away documents and resources you can adapt and use to start a summer team in your church.

One participant who watched the webinar and implemented her own summer team had this to say:

“I used these ideas for a summer team recruitment strategy, had more than enough volunteers all summer, and EVERYONE wants to continue serving in the fall!!! I actually have more people who want to serve than positions to fill, which is amazing for the size church we have.” – Kahri

To be clear, our church rarely recruits more than enough volunteers, nor does everyone continue to serve in the fall, but I love that Kahri got even better results than we ever have!

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 might be recruited through specific promotions.

Six years ago, we decided to recruit 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 the 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 the 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 an opportunity for people to continue serving in regular volunteer roles. 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 recruit volunteers for summer

We plan a Summer Team Orientation date/time and promote it for about 4-5 weeks through multiple avenues. Years ago we used a video created primarily by parents in our church recording their kids.

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 a 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.