As a children's ministry director/pastor, how should you spend your time on weekends? Teaching elementary kids? In a preschool room helping with crafts? Running a check-in station? Walking new families to their classes?
All of these are good things, but they are not the best way to spend your time on weekends.
As the leader, you should spend your time wandering around your children's ministry.
Wandering? Yes. But not wandering just to be wandering around, but rather, wandering around with a purpose. Wandering around will take you up to 30,000 ft. so you can see what's coming, what needs to be changed, what to invest time and attention toward and what has the potential to thrive.
Wander by the nursery. What is the atmosphere? Is it relaxed? Are the hand-offs from parents to volunteers going well? Are the ratios being met?
Wander by the check-in area. Are greeters smiling? Is check-in going smooth? Are our volunteers walking them to their classrooms. Shake hands with a few of the first-time guests and thank them for coming.
Wander over to the preschool area. Thank the volunteers for their heart for the next generation. Smile at the preschoolers.
Wander over by the elementary area. Listen to the lesson. Watch the kids response to the message.
Wander over to the kids who are helping lead worship and let them know how proud you are of them.
Wander by the pre-teen area and sit in on a small group for a few minutes. Are the kids connecting? Is dialogue happening? Thank volunteers for serving.
Wander around and look at the facilities. Anything need tweaked? Anything need adjusting? Anything need changed or replaced?
Wander around after the service and connect with parents. How was their week? How are the kids doing? Anything I can pray about for you?
Wander around outside of the kid's ministry area. Connect with adults. Recruit new volunteers. Encourage parents.
Wander. Wander. Wander. When you begin wandering, you will make a bigger impact for the ministry. Remember your calling is to equip, empower and release people to do the work of the ministry.
I know what some of you are thinking.
" I can't get free to wander right now because I have been stuck in a classroom teaching ever since the previous volunteer quit? "
"I want to be in the classroom with the kids."
"I don't have enough volunteers to wander."
I am reminded of an amazing leader who was on a team that I led. She always had lots of smiling, positive volunteers in her area. I asked her what her secret was for building such an awesome team?
She responded by saying she sees her role as a flight attendant. She "wanders" around her area and encourages, equips and empowers her volunteers. She finds out what their favorite dessert is and cooks it and brings it to them. She gives her personal phone number to each volunteer and lets them know they can call her any time they need something.
Why does she have such an amazing team? Because she wanders from room to room in her area.
Here's my challenge to you. Try to increase your "wandering" time this weekend. Be very intentional about it. Start somewhere. Record what results you got.
Do this and track your progress for a few months.
There are lots of improvements, updates and changes you should be making. But you have to wander to see them.
There are lots of volunteers that need you to encourage them. But it will only happen when you start wandering.
I "wonder" what can happen if you start wandering?
p.s. If want more proven ways to build and lead a volunteer team, get my book "The Secret Formula for Building Volunteer Teams. Here's the link for it.