(1) Show them why—help these young volunteers and even young professionals catch the vision for why you believe kids ministry is important. Show them your passion for kids and the gospel and help them find a place where they can contribute to something larger than themselves. Sometimes your millennial volunteers will be kids who are a product of this very church’s ministry, but others will be transplanted from other churches or even new to their faith. Make sure each one knows how they are doing Kingdom work that matters.
(2) Train—don’t assume that because a volunteer is energetic, that he knows how to interact with kids in age-appropriate ways. Also, don’t assume that just because a volunteer is super-quiet that she doesn’t have what it takes to teach a lesson with kids. Train your new leaders and continue to guide and course-correct as necessary with seasoned leaders. This will add tools to the ministry toolbox of these millennial volunteers that they can use for a lifetime of ministry.
(3) Affirm and encourage—You know that kids ministry is sometimes hard and that some lessons just go completely off the rails, despite the preparation and enthusiasm of the leader. Make sure your millennial volunteers know how valuable they are to you, and how much they mean in the lives of the kids. Many times the simplest word of encouragement from a seasoned leader or mentor will make a huge difference with young leader.
The impact of kids ministry leaders is humbling when you consider the number of kids and families you influence, but with the volunteers, you train for service, the impact is truly unlimited. Don’t miss the opportunity to help shape the future of kids ministry in your community by ignoring the millennial volunteers that you have in your church.
In my ministry with CentriKid Camps, I hire hundreds of these millennials as summer camp staffers and they are phenomenal workers who truly pour themselves out through service to kids and church leaders at camp. If you have college students who serve well with you in your ministry and you know they love the Lord, love kids, and want to work hard at camp … then please send potential staffers to connect with us at www.centrikid.com/become-a-staffer
Contact our CentriKid Camps office anytime with questions or other ideas about serving with millennials and leading them in your kid’s ministry setting. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Echols leads the CentriKid Camps team and manages the Lifeway Kids events. He, his wife Emily, and their precious daughter love their church, their neighborhood, and spending time together. Jeremy loves to read, watch sports, and grill burgers.