Volunteers are the heart and soul of children's ministry. They are the ones that make children's ministry one of the most dynamic ministries of the church. We couldn't do children's ministry without them.
I know you appreciate your volunteers. But the bigger question is "Do your volunteers know you appreciate them?"
If we are not careful, we can get so busy doing ministry that we forget to thank the awesome volunteers that serve with us. Showing your volunteers that you appreciate them should be a priority.
Let's look at 10 ways you can show your volunteers that you appreciate them.
1. Say thank you. Often. Actually every week. Did you know that 65% of volunteers have never been thanked for their service. Walk around and tell them you appreciate them.
2. Send them a handwritten note. In a world of digital communication, a handwritten note is gold. Write your volunteers a handwritten thank you note. Thank them for who they are instead of what they do. It will make it much more meaningful.
Example - Instead of saying "Thank you for teaching in preschool chapel today" - say "Thank you for your heart for the next generation and your passion to see them know God's Word."
3. Text them. A quick text. Another way to say thank you. 98% of text messages get read - so you can be sure they will read it.
4. Each month pick a "volunteer of the month." Share about the person with everyone - you can make a poster with the person on it or put it in your communication to volunteers or post it on the team Facebook page.
5. Give them a personal gift. Have volunteers fill out a form that tells what their favorite candy is. What their favorite place to eat is. Who their favorite team is. What their favorite color is. Then on their birthday, give them one of these personal gifts.
6. Call them out in a meeting. Honor a volunteer each week at your pre-service huddle or each time you gather. Tell everyone why you appreciate them.
7. Buy them lunch or meet for coffee. Meet them for lunch and pay for it. Meet for coffee and pay for it. If it is someone from the opposite sex, bring someone with you.
8. Have the kids and parents thank them. Have the kids make a card for them. Have parents email them a thank you note.
9. Invest in them. Pick 2-3 volunteers that you mentor and invest in. The goal should be to empower them and help them grow in their spiritual life and ministry skills.
10. Call them on their birthday. A quick call on their birthday means a lot.
*You can get lots of more ideas about leading volunteers in my book - The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams." You can get it here.