Research shows that several reasons motivate a person to volunteer his or her time. Considering these common reasons will give you an edge in the recruiting process.

  • Achievement – A person might be looking for an opportunity to participate in an effective ministry that is changing lives. Children’s ministry naturally meets this need. As the year progresses, adults often see a child learning more about the Bible or God’s plan for salvation.
  • Job Recognition – For some, knowing that they have successfully completed a task and are valued for their contributions makes the volunteer effort worthwhile.
  • Using God-Given Skills – Often, an individual realizes that a passion he or she has—working with children, teaching, cooking or organizing—can be put to use in the church as a way to serve God.
  • Sense of Responsibility – Adults who are naturally dependable and conscientious look for opportunities to serve where their traits are valued. They enjoy taking on a task and seeing it to its completion.
  • Desire to Grow Personally – Volunteering is an excellent way to develop new skills or sharpen existing ones. For some, these skills might be transferred into opportunities for advancement in the workplace or within the ministry itself. Perhaps they are eager to learn new skills alongside the club members, like sewing or woodworking. Or perhaps they are hoping to grow their interpersonal skills or deepen their walk with the Lord.
  • Opportunity to Experience God in a New Way – When a mature believer is asked a question like “Is God really in the clouds?” or gets to explain the Easter story in terms a kindergartner can understand, they may experience the joy of learning something about God for the first time as they witness their club members’ joy. They might take away something from a story that they had never seen before or be challenged to dig into Scripture to find biblical support for their answer to a child’s question.

Regardless of what factors motivate someone to volunteer, each person is ultimately motivated from within by things he or she finds meaningful and satisfying. If such different factors motivate someone to volunteer, different approaches need to be used to recruit.

To discover what makes someone “tick,” start by listening. As you gain insight and understanding through listening, show how your program can meet an expressed need. For instance, if you hear “I think an event calendar and regular emails to parents are important,” they may show a gift for organization as well as a sense of responsibility as a motivator.

Remember, it all starts with something as simple as inviting them to serve. So ask, listen, respond, and enjoy how God is using you to fill the needs you have in His children’s ministry program.