Create a Culture of Fun with Your Volunteer Team

When people have fun serving in your ministry, they'll want to serve more often (Can I get a hallelujah?). So how do you create a culture of fun where volunteers WANT to stay plugged in and serving with your ministry? Give Gifts. Everyone loves getting presents, so whether you do one big gift each year or smaller gifts each semester, find a way to give unique and thoughtful gifts to your volunteers, even if it's just a handwritten note! Need some ideas? Here's a list of 24 appreciation gifts our followers have given (Tip: handwritten notes were the most popular and most appreciated, so you don't have to spend money!). Have team t-shirts. Nothing says "we're a team" like matching t-shirts. Whether you give out the t-shirts as gifts or you ask your volunteers to purchase a ministry t-shirt, offering this simple and fun option helps give your...

24 Volunteer Appreciation Ideas

Last week, we did a giveaway for the latest KidMin Nation book all about volunteers. To be entered to win, you had to answer the question: "What was your favorite volunteer appreciation gift you ever gave?" I LOVED hearing all of your creative ideas (and I've taken notes to use some of them in the future). Here's what all of you shared, and congrats to Kim and Jessica for winning a free copy of the book! (Didn't win but still want a copy of Rock Stars: Inspiring a Team of Unstoppable Volunteers? Order your own copy here.)   One year I led VBS and asked all the workers what their all-time favorite snack was. At the end of the week, they came to the office and were gifted with it. One person wrote that they liked pickles, and they were completed shocked that I took the effort to find a single dill pickle! In retrospect, I think it all...

Rock Stars Book Review and Giveaway

[vc_row 0=""][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="12049" img_size="medium" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" link="https://amzn.to/2CSaJ99"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text 0=""] Rock Stars: Inspiring a Team of Unstoppable Volunteers By KidMin Nation (Editor: Tina Houser) My rating: 5/5 stars - It was amazing!     Read: April 2019[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row 0=""][vc_column 0=""][vc_column_text 0=""]This book is for you if... you lead volunteers, you want to encourage and equip your volunteers My thoughts: This book came at the perfect time! We just finished up Admin April 2019, focusing on all things volunteers, so I loved reading this book that gave me new ideas and perspectives on volunteers too. This isn't the first time I've been honored to have a chapter published...

Super Volunteer Appreciation Gift Card Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If we want our volunteers to stick around, we have to celebrate them! Remind your volunteers how SUPER they are with this free volunteer appreciation gift card printable! (Gift card not included in download.)[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download Super Volunteer Appreciation Printable Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F09%2FDKM-Super-Volunteer-Appreciation-Gift-Card-Printable-Final.pdf||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]All you need is this printable, gift card(s) of your price and choice (my volunteers love Starbucks and Chick-fil-a), and some glue dots! Just print and cut the download, add your gift cards using glue dots or double-sided tape, then hand out to your volunteers as a way of saying...

Celebrating (& Retaining) Volunteers

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If we want our volunteers to stick around, we have to celebrate them! Here are some easy ways to celebrate (and therefore retain) the volunteers in your children's ministry. Say thanks. As often as possible, thank the volunteers on your team verbally or in writing. Send out weekly “thank-you” emails to all who served that Sunday, and try to write at least one handwritten note a week to a volunteer on your team. We even created superhero-themed postcards you can use to remind your volunteers how awesome they are! Download them here. Think of specific reasons you are thankful for the volunteer, and thank them for who they are, not just the job they fill (i.e. “thank you for using your creativity to help our preschoolers understand more about the story of Jonah today” instead of just “thank you for...

Top Ten Volunteer Expectations Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Your volunteers are the superheroes of your ministry, but that doesn’t mean they can read your mind! Use this free printable to communicate your expectations of volunteers and remind them what you need from them. Go into the details of each expectation at your annual training, then use this printable to remind volunteers throughout the year, post in your Volunteer Facebook Group, or hang up in your classrooms.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download Top Ten Expectations Printable Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F09%2FDKM-Top-Ten-Hero-Expectations-Printable.pdf||target:%20_blank|"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="11077" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank"...

4 Types of Volunteer Training

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Just like pie comes in a variety of forms, so does effective volunteer training. Each method described below uses the ingredients of prepare, inspire, and equip to reach volunteers in a variety of levels, formats, and times. Pumpkin Pie - Annual Training Much like we typically eat pumpkin pie once a year at Thanksgiving, your annual training is the special once-a-year training for your entire volunteer team. For rookie and veteran volunteers alike, this training happens every year, typically at the start of the school year, and it is the chance to prepare, inspire, and equip your team for the year ahead. It should include an overview of the ministry, an explanation of curriculum and teaching resources, explanation of policies, procedures, and expectations, child protection policies, discipline guidelines,...

Volunteer Covenant

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Part of effective training is teaching your volunteers about your expectations for them. But sometimes it's hard to communicate your expectations with your volunteers. Here's what Julia, one of our Vendors (and the creator of this week's freebie), shared about her experience when she implemented a Volunteer Covenant as part of the application and training process: When I started in my kidmin role nearly 5 years ago, I was struggling with how to keep volunteers accountable and communicate expectations. While many of them were members and had filled out volunteer applications, what I needed from them weekly - both in our children’s ministry and in their lives outside of it - wasn’t being clearly communicated! So, I crafted this volunteer covenant. Each of our volunteers signs this covenant before serving in...

PIE Them in the Face: Effective Volunteer Training

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Effective volunteer training will PIE your volunteers in the face. And I’m not talking about a whipped cream pie (although that could be fun). Effective volunteer training will prepare them, inspire them, and equip them to serve to the best of their ability based on their God-given talents and gifts. No matter what type of training you’re doing, you can incorporate these three ingredients to make your training more effective. Prepare Them Your volunteer training should prepare your volunteers to lead. That means sharing the nuts and bolts of the ministry, the safety policies, the expectations of a good volunteer, etc. What do volunteers need to know to serve and lead well? This element of training can be long and tedious, but I make it bite-sized and easier to digest by making a “top 10" list of the...

Children’s Ministry Volunteer Application

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A volunteer application is an important part of the volunteer screening process in children's ministry. It not only helps you collect important information, but it also helps you see a volunteer's heart for serving and passion for kids.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title="Download Volunteer Application Now" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F09%2FVolunteer-Application-Background-Check.doc||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]Using a volunteer application helps ensure your volunteers want to serve with your ministry, are capable of serving with your ministry, and are safe to serve with your ministry. This week's free download is a volunteer application created from a variety of options and inspired by Smart Church Management....

Volunteer Screening Process

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] As part of the volunteer recruitment process, it's important to take the necessary precautions to screen new volunteers and make sure they're the right (and safest) fit for your ministry. Here's the screening process I used in my ministry to help make sure our volunteers understand the importance and expectations of their role. Volunteers who serve with our kids should... Attend for 6+ Months. Serving is an important step in being part of the body of Christ. Before a volunteer steps into their role, you want to make sure that they are getting spiritually fed, getting connected, and – most importantly – desiring to serve at your church as a part of the commitment to making this church family theirs. *Requirement for lead volunteer positions only: Become a Member - Becoming a member means that they protect...

Volunteer Recruitment Email Templates

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Recruiting volunteers takes more than just an on-stage announcement. You have to build relationships, communicate your vision, and make personal asks. So this week I'm sharing my email templates that invited rookie volunteers to join the team and asked veteran volunteers to recommit. (Note: This download is a zipped folder, which means you won't be able to open it on a mobile device.)[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Templates Here!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F09%2FDKM-Volunteer-Recruitment-Email-Templates.zip||target:%20_blank|"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_empty_space][vc_single_image image="11077" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank"...

Admin April 2019: Volunteers

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Happy Admin April! Every April, we focus on resources and strategies that help you rock the administrative responsibilities of our kidmin role. (Check out Admin April 2018 here - think budgets, behavior, and forms, oh my!) This year's focus is all things volunteers! From recruitment to training to volunteer appreciation, managing our volunteer teams is an administrative task we must do well in order to succeed. Here's a look at what we've got coming up this month, and check back here for a final compilation of all the Admin April Volunteer resources... Week 1 [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="11123" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" link="https://deeperkidmin.com/volunteer-recruitment/"][vc_btn title="Read Volunteer...

Last Christmas 2018

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Last Christmas, I gave you these printables, but some of you weren't here. This year, to save you some time, I'm bringing them back in cased you missed them. Ok, so maybe those aren't the lyrics, but it's true! (And you already have my heart anyway, kidmin leader.) Here are our top resources from Last Christmas and a sneak peek at what's coming this year![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="7269" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://deeperkidmin.com/candy-cane-poem-printable/"][vc_custom_heading text="Candy Cane Printable" font_container="tag:h2|text_align:center" use_theme_fonts="yes"...

2 Christmas Volunteer Appreciation Ideas

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Earlier in the week, we talked about 3 tips for appreciating your volunteers this Christmas. Spread some Christmas cheer to your volunteers with these simple, easy, and affordable gifts! Download the printable below for two different gift tag options. Then print, sign your name, cut, and attach to the gifts! Both designs are available as Christmas-themed or general appreciation, so use one this Christmas and save the other one for the spring![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Christmas Volunteer Appreciation Printables Now!" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F09%2FDKM-Christmas-Volunteer-Appreciation-2018.pdf||target:%20_blank|"][vc_single_image image="7172" img_size="full" alignment="center"][vc_column_text]Idea #1:...

Top 10 Posts/Freebies From DKM’s First Year

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Deeper KidMin celebrated its first birthday last Friday with the announcement of the new DKM Marketplace and the opportunity YOU have to be part of it as a DKM Marketplace Vendor. I decided to keep the party going with this week's post and highlight the top posts/freebies from the last year, so here are the top 10 posts y'all enjoyed most. Just click on each picture to access the post/freebie.[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title="#1 - Over 5,000 Downloads!" color="custom" border_width="3" accent_color="#3ac1e1"][vc_single_image image="4748" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="https://deeperkidmin.com/thirsty-for-god-object-lesson/"][vc_text_separator title="#2 - SLLRP Behavior Management System" color="custom" border_width="3"...

Receiving Feedback Well in KidMin

The beginning of a new school year means new volunteers, new policies, and new procedures. And sometimes that comes with opinions and feedback on how the new changes are going. So for the next couple of weeks, we'll talk about receiving feedback well and asking the right questions. That may seem backward. Shouldn’t asking the right questions happen before we talk about receiving feedback well? From my experiences, no. Receiving feedback well is more about our heart than our questions. We have to be mentally, emotionally, and prayerfully ready to hear feedback and accept it gracefully before we even start asking the questions. Otherwise, the responses to our questions get tangled up in our own emotions and blind spots. As a young leader, I worked so hard to prove myself and gain the trust of parents and families that I often closed...

Lectio Divina Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Lectio Divina is a spiritual discipline that combines prayers with the study of Scripture. As children's ministry leaders who are in God's Word for professional purposes (we have to know it if we're going to teach it, right?), the practice of Lectio Divina is an excellent way to make sure we're in God's Word for personal reasons too. Too often in ministry, I confused my teaching prep time with my personal quiet time, but when we approach the Bible only for the purpose of teaching it to others, we miss out on what it can teach us. Using Lectio Divina helped me shut off the part of my brain that focused on "how can I turn this into an object lesson for the 2nd graders" and sparked the side that quietly waits for that gentle whisper from a Heavenly King. I pray that this resource helps you connect with God's...

14 Ways to Pray for the Kids You Serve Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As KidMin leaders, we can plan, prep, cut, glue, and email all we want, but our efforts to change kids' hearts are futile unless we ask God to do the real work for us. We have the opportunity to reach kids' hearts when they are most vulnerable to the redeeming story of the gospel, and when we pray for the children in our care by name and with specific prayers, we increase that impact exponentially. Use the 14 ways below to pray for the children in your ministry (psst- that's enough for a specific prayer each day over the next two weeks). Share this download with your volunteers or hand it out at volunteer training so your whole team can join together in covering kids in prayer.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Start Praying" align="center"...

Back to School Blessings Printable

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As we prepare for the school year, I'm reminded of the importance of using Scripture in our prayers, writing our prayers down, and speaking prayers out loud over our families and loved ones. So as the school year begins, share this printable with the families in your ministry and encourage parents to use these scriptures to speak blessings over their children on their first days and weeks of school. Families can print them out and post the prayers around their house or car, and they're small enough to fit into a purse or wallet.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Download the Back to School Blessings" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fproduct%2Fback-to-school-blessings%2F||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text] For the school year: Luke 2:52 - God, help [child's name] grow in wisdom...

New Postcard Designs for Crew Cards!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We already know that kids are wired for relationships. One of the best ways to help kids connect with their leaders outside of Sunday mornings is through Crew Cards. (Not sure what I'm talking about? Learn more about Crew Cards here.) As you prepare for the fall, it's time to update the postcards you use for Crew Cards! Update the look of your Crew Card postcards using one (or all) of the 4 images below, then use a site like VistaPrint to print your postcards for the year![/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="I want the designs! " align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F06%2FDKM-New-Designs-for-Crew-Cards.zip||target:%20_blank|"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="5104" img_size="full" alignment="center" onclick="custom_link"...

Wired for Relationships

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]God wired us with a need for community as a reflection of his triune character, and the same holds true for children. Kids need relationships with their peers and with their leaders. Friendships are especially important in the preteen years. I have found that groups of 6th graders who enter the middle school youth group as friends tend to have an easier time transitioning than a group of students who don’t feel close. Especially as preteens experience “11-year-old atheism” – when children have a difficult time reconciling an unknowable God with their concrete way of thinking – they need leaders they trust and peers they can learn with. Creating a community in which to doubt, play, and grow provides the healthiest environment for engaging children. Learning is a social process in itself, so...

Wired for Learning: Developmental Stages KidMin Leaders Need to Know

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We learned earlier in the week how kids are wired uniquely and what we can do to engage them. Today is all about how kids are developmentally wired for learning. The speed at which their little brains absorb and process new information is unlike any other stage of life. This is great news for us! Their minds are already ready for the truths we want to teach them. But that doesn’t mean every child is developmentally ready for every truth. While children may progress through stages of learning at different rates, they tend to follow the same patterns of development from birth to the preteen years, and when we engage kids based on their developmental stage, we can take better aim at the dartboard. Use this week's download to gain a general overview of a child’s characteristics in each stage and what...

Volunteer Handbook

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Whether your volunteer team includes 5 volunteers or 500, it can be difficult to make sure everyone is on the same page. While you can (and should) host a volunteer training each year, that one hour every 52 weeks just isn't enough to communicate everything you want your volunteers to know. Creating a volunteer handbook is a great way to share expectations, communicate details, and provide a little extra training for your volunteers to have all year long. I'm sharing my full 34-page volunteer handbook this week, and I hope it helps spark some ideas for creating your own. Feel free to use the wording and details found within it, and if you want a customizable copy so you don't have to start from scratch, it's available here or as part of the Put Me In Coach Volunteer Training...

Volunteer Training Email Templates

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]One important aspect of hosting an all-star volunteer training is planning ahead and communicating details. If you expect all of your volunteers to attend training (and I recommend making your training mandatory), you have to give them plenty of notice and reminders.  So this week I'm sharing my entire email communication sequence that invited rookie volunteers to join the team, reminded veterans about training (several times), and even followed up with them after the event.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Communicate with your Volunteers" align="center" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fdeeperkidmin.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2018%2F06%2FDKM-Put-Me-In-Coach-Email-Templates.zip||target:%20_blank|"][vc_column_text]The email templates include emails for Recommitment & Recruiting Save the Date email for...