Do you struggle to recruit parents to serve in your children’s ministry? Many parents identify Sunday mornings as their opportunity to worship and their children’s time to learn about God. Some might not perceive serving as an act of worship; others might be in difficult seasons—welcoming a new baby, suffering family hardships, or mourning loss. There are legitimate reasons for parents to take a sabbatical from serving. However, parents shouldn’t get a pass just because they are parents. Here’s how YOU can encourage parents in your ministry to serve—not out of obligation, but because they WANT to be there.
- Cast a great vision for the importance of children’s ministry. Don’t expect parents to volunteer if they do not understand and value the urgency in teaching children about the Lord.
- Recruit a separate team to encourage the parents (and other volunteers) who are actively serving. This team could provide breakfast goodies, write notes of encouragement, actively pray for and with them, and even volunteer to substitute if a parent needs to be out.
- Make it easy for them. Parents are likely the busiest demographic in your church. So, make serving easy for them. Prepare curriculum, materials, and snacks for them in order to make logistics and time seamless.
- Create some early wins for them to see the impact they have. Encourage kids to recite the memory verses they’ve been taught, retell the Bible story, share artwork, and sing songs so that the volunteering parents have a first-hand understanding that they are being used to make a difference.
- Show how children who see their parents serve will follow their examples and become sacrificial servers of the church.
Offering these views of children’s ministry can help you recruit and retain parent leaders to invest in your church and the lives of the ones God entrusts to them.
Serve the Lord with gladness! Psalm 100:2 HCSB
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of LifeWay Kids. Jana brings a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and curriculum writing. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children attend Forest Hills Baptist Church where she teaches The Gospel Project to preteen girls.