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Many of you have attended my VBS “Enlisting Workers” conference this month and it was great to see you in North Carolina, Ft. Worth TX and Nashville.  It is time to enlist our workers for this summer and I thought you might like to have a copy of my conference notes and the handout.

Others in our Kid Min Community were not able to attend so I thought you might like to see what I thought.  I hope it is an encouragement to you.  Please don’t wait until the weather gets warmer to start enlisting.  The time is now!  While snow is on the ground and it’s too cold to go out and play, curl up in your recliner with warm socks and coffee and begin organizing.  Write up a little blurb for the church bulletin and newsletter and send it to the church secretary with the VBS logo from the website.  Look back and see who taught last year.  Find the phone numbers and email addresses.  From the comfort of your chair, call and contact people with dates and times.  See who says, “Yes!” right away and get the thought planted in the minds of everyone you contact.  Don’t wait!

Let me know if this helps.

Mr Mark



Preparation:  Read the content and become familiar with the outline.  Next, go through the outline inserting personal stories of success and failure to better identify and encourage the conferees.  Copy handouts for conferees.

Introduction (10 min)

My Story:  Open with telling your experiences with enlistment.  Be sure to explain the difficulties as well as the successes

Ask: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to enlisting volunteers?

Excuses: Lack of confidence, men, hard to be on time, too busy

Not called to this ministry. I’ve done my time.  I need a break from kids.

Instruct the class to pause and take a deep breath.  Remind them—God fits the church together perfectly and that includes VBS.

Key Point #1- Let’s talk about you (10 min)

  • Do you ever feel Wired and Tired
  • What’s your schedule? When to start enlisting?
  • Stacking your workload: Are you planning ahead on everything?

Remind Leaders:

  1. No Pain/ No Gain= no longevity
  2. You don’t have to drag your longevity off a cliff
  3. Stuck in a rut-The only difference in a rut and a grave is the depth.
  • Avoid yoyo leadership- Balance your schedule by planning ahead and enlisting a leadership team to share the load.

Key Point #2- Pray Before “Doing” (10 min)

Give the right focus!

Verses about recruiting:  Have a Bible base before creating a strategy

  • Matt 9:37-38- it’s not going to be easy
  • 4:11-12- who’s responsibility is it?

Remind Leaders:

  1. We ignore the gifted people to fill the hole in our spread sheet.
  2. If it’s God’s ministry, it is too important to be desperate about it.

Key Point #3- Vision (10 min)

It is not workers’ responsibility to develop a passion for VBS & kid’s ministry.  It is our responsibility to cast the vision!


  • Don’t expect announcements to get all the volunteers.
  • Don’t guilt people into working (give a personal example).
  • Church bulletin & newsletter is not enough
  • No “wanted” posters.
  • Don’t assume no means never.
  • No posters in restrooms.
  • If you want new recruits, stop talking to the same old people.
  • People make impulse decisions which leads to “Buyer’s Remorse”

(They won’t stick with it and apply themselves for results.)

  • Pass the clipboard and sign up!
  • Sending in a tattered lady announcing, “We need help!”
  • Working in a short window of time leads to “Hammering people!”

Vision is sharing your heart.  Be transparent (not perfect).  Share your passion.

  • 4/14 Window-largest unreached people group ages 4-14.
  • Age 5: Concept of God is formed
  • Age 12: Spiritual foundation is formed and they start defending it by questioning and firming the foundation.
  • 85% before age of 14 will start a relationship with Jesus.

Key Point #4- Strategy for Enlisting (10 min)

  1. Minister to everyone by building relationships. (Walk the halls and talk.)
  2. Create a Buzz. List as many creative ways as possible to let people see your ministry in a positive way. (Ask conferees to share ideas they have used.)
  • Balloons to represent all the kids attending VBS.
  • Video Announcements. (Show an example.)
  1. Making the Ask
  • Organize your calendar with specific dates and guard those days
  • Create the classes needed for VBS (provide for growth)
  • Ask all your previous teachers about returning
  • Recognize where teachers are needed
  • Send letters to parents letting them know the class their child will be in has no teacher and begin praying with me about this. If they would like to discuss the position, please contact me (cell number).
  • Send letters to previous kid’s ministry teachers & new members
  • Call each child’s parent in the class & ask them to think about it a couple of weeks
  • Record careful notes of your phone calls because your memory stinks
  • Give two weeks to think about it.
  • E-mail once to remind them you are praying
  • Build relationships
  • Words to the wise:
  • Identify life with them-low pressure (not a salesman on a car lot)
  • You are the face of Kid’s Ministry-No Drama
  • Earn trust by treating people with respect and trust
  • If they say no, thank them for considering

Key Point #5 Keeping Workers (10 min)

  1. Plug them in where they fit not just the holes. (Work in their sweet spot.)
  2. Create roles/places that fit their gifts, abilities and limitations.
  3. Provide training-Walk them through it. (Give a personal example)
  4. Guaranteed Subs (People on the bench)


  • It is completely appropriate to ask them to be present at meetings & trainings.
  • Respect them-Keep meetings short.
  • Worth their time-Don’t just have a meeting!
  • Start with a vision-Tell a story to reinforce the vision.
  • “Detailed oriented people need vision and Vision oriented need details.”

Protect Your Teachers and Appreciate Them

  • Have policies and procedures in place (It only takes an accusation).
  • You take care of the hard stuff if anything’s too difficult.
  • What are some ways you can appreciate them?

Ultimately people want to be a part of something they are excited about and believe will make a difference.

Enlisting VBS Workers Handout

Printable Version

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