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Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

Recruiting: Children’s Ministry vs Sports

recruitingThis time of year, many are focused on recruiting. We want to make sure that our ministries are staffed well. There is something that people say that makes me cringe every time I hear it. When people are recruiting, some often ask people if they can serve just one week a month.

There is constant complaint that parents put sports over children’s ministry activities; however, this post is not about that. I have been thinking about something for awhile and I cannot seem to shake it, what if sports team began recruiting coaches like children’s ministries recruit leaders. Now I may be wrong, but I do not ever recall hearing of a sports team recruiting coaches/leaders encouraging them to give their time for just 1/4 of the practices and have a different coach for each practice.

How would you feel if you signed your child up for a team and then found out that they had a hard time recruiting coaches so that they only served once a month? Would you see the coaches building relationships with the players? Would you see a consistent coaching style? Would the team do well?

Every year I hear the complaints about how sports takes priority over church, but could it be that their leaders/coaches are more committed to the children? What if our leaders were as committed to ministry as much as coaches are to their team? Why do we lower standards in ministry when we recruit?

I know that some will say that this method has worked well for them. That it opens the door for people to see what children’s ministry is like and then be more involved. Some support staff can serve occasionally, but if you want to build relationships, then (in my opinion) you need people more committed.

What if children’s ministry began recruiting like a sports team, expecting a higher level of commitment? What impact would that have in reaching children for Jesus?

I know that this does not apply to all ministries.

Do you struggle getting people to commit to volunteer in ministry? Has your ministry “raised the standard” for your volunteers? Share your story so we can help one another.

The Author

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  1. When we are recruiting new leaders we ask for one season and then when that’s done if they wish to continue fine. If it’s not for them, that’s fine too. We don’t ask for part time leaders. We do have people who come in to listen to verses and then leave (mostly Senior Saints) but that’s it. I don’t see this as an apples to apples comparison. In Ministry you get whom God brings you and minister to them as they minister to kids. In sports (I have coaching experience) you get to pick from several and the season is usually substantially less. If ministry workers only had to serve 12 weeks like youth football the circumstances may be different. Awana is a long commitment by today’s standards.

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