Ten Effective Ways To Show Appreciation To Your Volunteers


Leading a volunteer ministry can be difficult.  Volunteers sacrifice their time away from their families, their jobs, and their other responsibilities and interests.  They are not required to stick with you or your kids ministry, so you want to make sure that you are proactive in showing them your appreciation.

Here are ten effective ways you can show appreciation to your volunteers:

1.  Say it publicly
Every opportunity you have: in a meeting, in front of the kids, in front of the church, in whatever public setting you are in – brag on your team.  Thank them for their tireless efforts in reaching kids for the Kingdom.

2.  Say it privately
Take your volunteers to lunch periodically (keep a list and work down the list in a strategic way).  Tell them honestly and clearly what they mean to you and the kids ministry.  Be specific.

3.  Say it creatively
Leave them a short note on the counter in their classroom or area of ministry with a creative twist.  Example:  a $5 Starbucks gift card with a note that says “Thanks A Latte!”  (For lots of creative ideas like this, check out this post)

4.  Say it sincerely
Sit down and write them a card that details the reasons why they, individually, are invaluable to the team.  Cite a specific instance you have witnessed recently of how they have made an impact in the life of a kid.

5.  Say it digitally
Send them an unexpected text, email, or Facebook message that says, “Just wanted you to know I am thankful to have you on our Kids Ministry team!”

6.  Celebrate their birthday
Send them a card, show up at their door with a “Happy Birthday” singing flash mob, whatever!  People love to be honored on their special day!

7.  Equip them
Buy them a book or resource that you know will make them better at their ministry position.  Write a note in the front cover to let them know you appreciate their commitment to growth.

8.  Feed them
Invite the team over to your house for a BBQ.  Make it a fun game night.  Don’t have a “meeting” or have an “agenda.”  Make your agenda celebrating the team and showing your love and appreciation.

9.  Photograph them
Take a picture of them serving in their area of ministry.  Print it and write a note on the back.  You could even have some of the kids in their class/ministry sign the back.

10.  Pray for them
Spend time praying for them.  Find out their spiritual needs and bring those before the Father.  Then, send a quick text or a note that says, “Just wanted you to know that I prayed for you today.  Thanking our Heavenly Father for sending you to our Kids Ministry Team.”

What about you?  What are some effective ways you have used to show appreciation for your volunteers?  Share some of your ideas in the comments section.  You will help a lot of folks in the Kidmin Community.

Becoming A “SLAM Grandparent”

Kennedy
Anthony Kennedy (far right), his three boys, and me

Yesterday was a very cool day for my wife, Cherith, and I. It was the day we discovered we are now “SLAM Grandparents” at First NLR. We became the Kids Pastors here in 1999 – nearly 14 years ago. “SLAM” is the name of the Elementary Kids Church service we began when we got here. Yesterday, it was an honor to welcome several children into “SLAM” who belong to Anthony Kennedy, one of the kids that were in that original group.

I am about to celebrate my 14th year as Kids Pastor at First NLR. I have been blessed to minister to thousands of kids during this time. It is such a privilege to watch them grow, both physically and spiritually, and ultimately pass on that spiritual heritage to their own children.

In the time I have been at First NLR, I have friends and acquaintances that have been in three and four churches. I am thankful for a church with strong pastoral leadership, a clear vision, and dynamic spiritual health. These are the things that allow me to stay here at First NLR and receive the benefits of longevity in ministry.

In the coming months, I will be performing the wedding for one of the girls who grew up in our kids’ ministry here at First NLR. What a blessing to be able to be a part of the different seasons of life for the same children and families. While we continue to grow as God allows us to reach more and more families, I pray that Cherith and I will see the day when we become “SLAM Great-Grandparents.” (somebody please pass me my walking cane and Depends)

Is Your Greatest Strength Also Your Biggest Liability?

This is a subject I get asked about a lot. I thought I would share it with you again.

briandollar.com

A Keystone Easter

In my book, “I Blew It!”, I write about a crazy story where I ended up accidentally wearing a Keystone Cop hat on stage during the most serious moment of our Easter Production.  I had tried to be funny backstage and ended up forgetting I was wearing the hat.  It’s hilarious to read, but wasn’t so funny when it happened.

My greatest strength in kids’ ministry was my sense of humor.  The children loved it, and the volunteers enjoyed it, too.  I was able to play goofy characters like Skittles, the Candy Rapper, and a host of others.  I was quick-witted and funny.  I could make the kids laugh at almost anything, but I had a problem: I allowed this strength to run wild and unrestrained, and it became my greatest liability.  This can happen in all of our lives, and it doesn’t just apply to the strength…

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Who Is This Clown?

This past weekend, we launched our “Family Month” event.  This is something we do every year during the month of July.  We always bring in outside ministry guests and have FREE family ministry/entertainment during our Sunday Night services that are dedicated to bringing the entire family together.

Our first guest was “Chagy the Clown.”  Chagy did an incredible job.  He was one of the best guests we have had – EVER!  Here are a couple of reasons why he was such a hit!

1)  He was FUNNY! – Everyone loves to laugh!  Chagy connected with the youngest and the oldest in our audience!
2)  He was professional! – Chagy was well-prepared, highly skilled, and easy to work with.
3)  He has a heart for ministry! – Chagy communicated the gospel throughout his entire presentation.  His heart for the lost was evident in every conversation I had with him!
4)  He was extremely affordable! – Compared to many guests we bring in, Chagy was VERY affordable!  Hard to believe considering he relies on these events to help pay for the dozens and dozens of Missions Trips to South and Latin America.

I highly recommend Chagy for ANY event you may have: outreach, family ministry, kids, etc.  If you are interested, visit his website http://chagy.com/

New “Kid Bible Heroes” App – Kids Just Can’t Put It Down!


The Kid Bible Heroes interactive app for kids features youngsters living out grown-up faith that will build your kids’ trust in God. Each narrated Bible story pauses for games, fun sound effects and interactive animation. Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

With the Kid Bible Heroes app, your kids can learn about ordinary kids in the Bible who were used by God to do extraordinary things.  The app features five Bible stories about everyday heroes like David, Miriam, Samuel, Mary, and the young boy with the fishes and loaves.  Through their interactive stories, your kids will learn about God’s plan for their lives, trusting God, having courage, listening to God and being willing to step out in faith.

WANT YOUR KIDS TO EXPERIENCE THE BIBLE LIKE NEVER BEFORE?

Enhance your kids’ Bible knowledge with the Kid Bible Heroes app, a cutting-edge digital resource from My Healthy Church. This series of apps was designed with the next generation in mind, giving kids a fun and interactive way to learn the Bible by simply using technology that they enjoy.

Each narrative story expands kids’ faith and enhances their learning experience by featuring games, puzzles, fun sound effects and other interactive activities to help them discover biblical truths. Let your kids be a part of the story by downloading the Kid Bible Heroes app today.

Visit www.kidbibleheroes.com or click here to download the app!