Wednesday, August 8, 2007

It's That Time of Year Again...

September is looming. And so is the dry erase board in my office. On it I have a line for each volunteer needed in the fall. And some of those lines are filled, but unfortunately, quite a few are still blank (something to celebrate though! More lines are filled than in past years!). This is the time of year when people start avoiding eye contact with me. Oddly enough, though, I love recruiting! My husband starts laughing when in a conversation, someone says they're majoring in education, or love kids, or enjoy their nieces and nephews. He knows what question is coming. "Oh really? Have you ever considered working in Children's Ministries?"
While I never want to be seen as a stalker, I love making one on one contact with a person, and inviting them to join our team. I'd way rather have a conversation about what appeals, what age group is favored, and what services a person is available than just depend on an ad in the bulletin.
Two years ago we started a new "marketing scheme" for fall recruitment. People didn't seem to notice the onslaught of "URGENT NEED" notices in the bulletin, so we took a more gentle approach. We planted ourselves with a booth in front of the main entrance to the church with large pictures of children's faces and a big sign that said, "Amazing Face: Who influenced the life of this child?" During announcements in "big" church, a picture was shown of one of our staff people as a baby (one week it was the senior pastor, another week the executive pastor, another week the middle school pastor). Everyone was invited to come to our booth and guess who the baby in the picture was. And then, we would draw one correct entry randomly, and that person got a $20 gift certificate to a local restaurant.
Here's the catch... the entry form was also the sign up form for working in Children's Ministries! We had soooo many people volunteer!
The next year our theme was a play off of Master Card commercials, only we called it Master Care. Playing games-5 minutes. Leading hand motions-15 minutes. Holding a baby-30 minutes. Leading a child to Christ--Eternal.
This year, our theme is "Flip a Child's Future for Christ." We've printed up stories of children who's futures looked bleak until a friend brought them to church. Now, their future is being flipped. We'll see how it goes.
But all this to say, as much as I don't like the frustration of seeing blank lines filled slowly, I love recruiting!

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