Come Hear More
Written By: Erin English
Senior Generosity Consultant
If you’ve read Jessica Bealer’s e-book, How to Recruit and Retain High-Level Volunteers, you’ve likely begun to answer some of her thought-provoking questions and prioritize some important and critical points she makes in that invaluable resource. I’d like to share with you a practical next step that will help you increase your visibility, utilize your b-roll, connect-the-dots of kingdom impact, and introduce a common language that will unite and excite parents and potential new volunteers to say – SIGN ME UP! So easy. So fun. So transformational! The first year we introduced this simple strategy, we doubled our volunteer team – in just one year!
Volunteers. We love them. We need them. We need more of them. They are the life force of a healthy and growing ministry. As long as your ministry continues to grow, you’ll continue to increase your volunteer needs. This is a good thing! How can we become more visible and help move people from the hall to the classroom? It starts with a simple ask and a little bit of connect-the-dot vision. I’m just one person though, and my circle of influence is limited. Yours is too. The key isn’t me tapping on more shoulders – though this is definitely high on the list – but recruiting more people to tap on shoulders with me.
The truth of the matter is that this can be intimidating for most people. Even as experienced ministry leaders we are sometimes guilty of saying no for people and never even asking for fear of their no. We get better as we practice, but if we really want to grow our volunteer team, we need more people asking those in their circles of influence!
Instead of making these big asks in the commons on Sunday, where time is limited and connection is key, we began equipping others to ask – Come Hear More!
- for Parents – Come hear more about what your kids experience during their service hour!
- for Friends or Acquaintances – Come hear more about what I get to do each week by serving in family ministry!
- for Anyone – Come hear more about the fun and easy opportunities to participate in as little as one or two hours a week!
Insert the Family Ministry Orientation. The ask is simple – Come hear more! To equip our invested volunteers and ministry leaders, we made beautiful postcard size invitations for them to hand out. The physical invitation made the ask even easier and exponentially increased the impact of the ask.
On the 1st & 3rd Sunday of each month, following the last morning service, we open up our best space and welcome all to come hear more. Our orientation is quick! Only 20 minutes, start-to-finish, and always with a simple snack and an optional tour at the end.
We start with introductions and a simple statistic from the Barna Research Group:
- 64% of Christians made a commitment to Christ before their 18th birthday
- 13% of Christians made their profession of faith while 18-21 years old
- 23% of Christians embraced Christ in adulthood
These statistics are compelling and prove that the most influential mission field in the whole world is with kids in our home church! This provides a natural transition into the best part of our orientation - the opportunity to share MORE about family ministry at our church!
- Little ones who participate in preschool ministry here will never remember a time they didn’t know God loved them.
- Elementary kids with a consistent and weekly small group leader will experience relationships that help bind biblical truths to their heart in a life changing way.
- Student’s and adult’s faith will be mobilized through simple opportunities for them to use their God-given gifts and talents to serve the next generation.
- Our weekend services are awesome – but the secret sauce in a kid’s faith story will always be their parent – and we’ve got tools to help!
Next, we go over the basics!
- Our mission and vision for kids and student ministry.
- Our strategy to get there with basic truths we focus on for each age, stage, and phase.
- An overview of a ministry hour from start-to-finish.
The only thing left is to share the dozens of different ways an individual could support and participate in the ministry from front line leadership, like a small group leader, to behind-the-scenes opportunities like curriculum prep, set-up or even tech on Sundays. If statistics are true, then there’s no better way to spend an hour or two each week!
We end the orientation with a “b-roll” video we made highlighting the life change that happens in the hearts and lives of kids, students, and volunteers followed by a fun tour of our environments with potential next steps if they’re interested in serving. And 95% of them usually are!
All of these things help us “connect-the-dots” for parents and volunteers to remind them – IT ALL MATTERS. Eternally so. A bi-weekly orientation with postcard invitations help provide the captive audience to share that vision!
A ministry orientation is so fun, and easy, and takes such little time. The return on investment is high - particularly with the more people you invite into the room! If you see me this Sunday – I’ll have an invitation in my hand looking for individuals, couples, and families to invite – Come Here More!