3 Recruiting Mindsets to Overcome in Kids Ministry - Leaders.Church


3 Recruiting Mindsets to Overcome in Kids Ministry

There’s one thing every church everywhere has in common…we all need volunteers and more of them. They make ministry possible and make it lots of fun! Volunteers are so important! We love volunteers! This is why Kids Ministry recruiting mindsets are so important.

Imagine a service where you have all the volunteers you need, plus you are overflowing with extra team members that just want to help! Maybe that is your reality, but you most likely don’t live in that world. 

Walt Disney placed a premium on people. He said, “You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”   

Think about that for a second and in the context of your Kids Ministry. You can have a beautiful kid’s area but if you have grumpy volunteers- it won’t go well. BUT on the flip side if you have an “all beige” kid’s area, with amazing people, your ministry will grow! From Disney’s perspective, the environment is not the important factor for success but rather the people.  

People are critical to the growth of your ministry.   

Okay, so people are critical, but how do you actually get people to join your team? This blog can help! 

In this post, we will look at three Kids Ministry recruiting mindsets that can actually stop you from being an effective volunteer recruiter and ways to overcome them.   

You are…

Using the What Rather Than the Why

Forgetting Whose Ministry Whis Really Is

Asking the Wrong Question

(Note: This is part 1 in a 3-part blog post. In part 2, you’ll learn 5 Tips to Recruit Kids Ministry Leaders and in part 3 you will learn How to Train Your Kids Ministry Volunteer Team.) 

Let’s be honest. Recruiting can be hard. Asking people to serve can feel awkward. It can feel like a personal rejection if they say, “no.” I fully understand. But what you are doing is too important to let faulty mindsets take hold and stick. 

Time and time again I have heard KidMin leaders share their recruiting excuses, difficulties and challenges. 

  • They might serve at your church but not at mine. 
  • I am too busy to have conversations. I have to cold call during the week.
  • Rejection is a fear of mine.
  • I don’t know why nobody is serving and I am asking all the time. 
  • I am always talking about my needs but nobody is jumping on them. 

Any of those sound familiar? Take heart. 

Want the kids at church to have an incredible experience every single week? Check out the Kids Ministry Atmosphere Checklist: 11 easy steps you can take for ALL kids to WANT to come back week after week after week.

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It might seem complicated but anyone can be an effective volunteer recruiter. These mindsets can be busted and you can recruit the right people that will help you take your Kids Ministry to the next level. 

The key is to get the right people. You want an amazing team, fully committed to building an awesome KidMin, enthusiastic to lift your arms and ready to help you carry out your vision.   

That is the dream team, right? It is what you want in a volunteer team. On the flip side, what you don’t want is a group of warm bodies just filling slots on a roster. 

So, how do you get the right people? Well, first it starts with you. Maybe you have been in Kids Ministry for one week or for fifteen years. Take a moment to think back to why you started. 

Think about your answers to these questions. 

Why do you…

  • Love working with kids?   
  • Think KidMin is so important? 
  • Think people should invest their time, talents and energy in serving with kids? 

I encourage you to write those answers out on a sheet of paper and keep it in front of you…those answers will be super important in a moment. 

Lots of us can define what we do. We run a kid’s ministry. We lead kids to Jesus. But it takes more work to define the why. Why does it matter? Why are you passionate about it? 

The WHY is the key to busting the first mindset and actually how you approach mindsets two and three.  

You Are Using the WHAT Rather Than the WHY

There was a TED Talk a few years ago that radically changed the way I looked at Kids Ministry and my approach to recruiting. It was a talk given in 2009 by Simon Sinek. I would highly recommend taking the 15 minutes to watch it and process it. Here is the really condensed version from that talk. Sinek explored what he called the Golden Circle, or the way we all communicate.

So, what does each of these circles mean? Sinek defined them this way.   

  • The WHAT is simply what you do.
  • The HOW is how you do it or what process or systems you use to get it done.
  • The WHY is the cause, the purpose, or your belief about it.

Sinek said that most organizations communicate from the outside in (from the what to the why) but inspired leaders communicate from the inside out (from the why to the what.) Think about that for a moment. According to Sinek, people don’t buy what you do but rather why you do it.  

This applies to Kids Ministry recruiting mindsets for your ministry as much as it would to selling shoes or computers. People need to hear the heart and connect to the why. People need to hear your heart, they need the why it matters, why they should believe in it too. 

So, what is the practical application? What does that look like? Here’s an example of communicating the way most organizations do, from the WHAT to the WHY. 

Let’s say you need five volunteers for your Sunday service. You have five conversations with five parents that all look like this…”I need five volunteers for my service, you would have about 15 kids in your class and you would help kids learn from God’s Word. Want to join the team?” 

Feel inspired? Not really, right? 

The WHY is vital when recruiting for your Kids Ministry. You want to recruit with your WHY rather than with your WHAT. Let’s try that recruiting approach again. 

“I believe that kids are the future and if kids can understand that God made them on purpose with a purpose and that God wants to use them to change the world around them. When you help kids deepen their relationship with Jesus then you have a powerful voice in the future. 

I know as a parent you feel the same. I am looking for people who want to change the world by helping 15 kids on a Sunday learn how powerful God’s Word is, would you want to join the team?

See the difference?   

Leading and recruiting from the WHY shares passion and enthusiasm. You’re inviting people to be a part of changing the future. You and I both know that KidMin is so much more than babysitting! You are actively speaking life and faith into the next generation, you are changing the future when you teach a child about Jesus and how much He loves them! 

When you think about KidMin this way…who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? People won’t buy what you do, but they will buy why you do it. 

I can tell you are excited now!

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You Forgot Whose Ministry This Really Is

I know what you’re thinking: “I know I work at a church and I know God is the head of the Church.” You may know it but are you operating in it? Are you taking every need you have before the Lord and asking for His help? Are you asking for the volunteers you need? 

I don’t want to be unkind in anyway, but this was a struggle I had to overcome in my own walk. I trusted God in so many areas but somehow I forgot to talk to God about my needs when it came to the team. It was like I felt that was in my job description so, I was supposed to handle it on my own.   

This may sound basic, but God loves your church and your Kids’ Ministry more that you do. He knows that you need volunteers and He can help you. Prayer is a huge key in being an effective recruiter.  

Do you need a specific personality type…ask God for those specifics. 

Do you need a specific number of volunteers…ask God to provide for that need. 

Pray that you can have favor with people before you have a single conversation. God has people in mind. Ask him for wisdom and insight on who to talk to about being involved. God can move and change the hearts and minds of men/women/teenagers. Pray that God moves on their hearts before you even say one word. 

Once I started taking my needs to the Lord, things dramatically changed. People who were the exact answer to a personality type I needed came to talk to me about serving. I started getting favor with people to fill needs.   

If you need volunteers in a certain area, consider spending a time of prayer in that space/classroom and asking God for the team to serve there.   

God is good and wants to help you. He will go before you and give you favor! 

So, as you are thinking through unhealthy Kids Ministry recruiting mindsets, keep in mind that God is the center of the ministry.

You Are Asking the Wrong Question

Of the Kids Ministry recruiting mindsets, this one is simple, but vital because it comes down to your conversational skills.

Assumptive language can communicate so much to people. Think about the question, “Are you volunteering?” This leaves the option for a yes or no answer and can quickly end your conversation with a potential volunteer. When you talk to someone, do your best to avoid asking yes or no questions. 

When you rephrase the question with assumptive terminology it opens up a new level of engagement, “Where are you serving?” It implies that the expectation is that people at your church should be serving and doesn’t allow just a yes or no answer. It creates a point of engagement for you.   

The same thing applies with this question, “What volunteer team are you on?” Again the assumption is that people are on volunteer teams, that serving is a high priority at your church.   

Assumptive language can give you an edge when you’re talking to people about serving. 


You just busted through three mindsets and I can tell you are excited!   

You’re pumped up and ready to share your passion for KidMin and your “why” with people around you. You’re ready for all God has for you and your ministry.   

It’s so exciting to think that God has more for you. 

God wants to do more in your ministry and in your church. He has more for you personally, more kids for you to reach, more ground in your community that he wants you to take.  

To do all God wants to do in your Kids Ministry, you need a team behind you, a team that believes what you believe, and a team that shares your WHY.   

You are ready to ask the right questions, to share this amazing opportunity with the people at your church, and build your team using effective Kids Ministry recruiting mindsets. So what do you do now? What’s next?   

Part 2! In part 2, 5 Tips to Recruit Kids Ministry Leaders, I share five tips to make recruiting easier than you thought possible. Click here to start all the fun!

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