Published: December 1, 2023
They say actions speak louder than words. That’s why, when it comes to recognizing and retaining volunteers, it’s so important to regularly show your volunteer team how much they matter to you and your church family.
A Year-Round Strategy for Recognizing and Retaining Volunteers
Winter Ideas for Retaining Volunteers
With winter comes the holidays and other activities, which keeps volunteers busy at church and in their personal lives. Warm their hearts with these three gift ideas that celebrate the gifts they bring to your church family.
Personalized Ornaments: During the holiday season, present your volunteers with personalized Christmas tree ornaments. On each ornament, include the volunteer’s name and a meaningful Scripture reference.
Gift Book: What You Do Matters: Thank You for Helping Kids Love Jesus is a book for volunteers that provides them with encouragement and Scripture. Show your team how much you value their relationship with Jesus and their journey with children by gifting them this book!
Special Service: Designate a Sunday as a special volunteer appreciation week. Find a child in each class who’s willing to say a short prayer during church service for his or her teacher. During the service, invite teachers to stand facing the congregation. Have the preselected kids help to present each teacher with a gift and package of goodies, and have the designated children pray for their teachers.
Spring Ideas for Retaining Volunteers
As the change in season brings new life, consider these three fresh ideas to encourage volunteers.
Adopt a Volunteer: Ask adults in your church who don’t teach to be involved in your volunteer support and appreciation ministry by “adopting” a teacher. When they adopt, they commit to providing prayer support, celebrating the volunteer’s birthday, and participating in volunteer appreciation day by bringing them a meal, flowers, and a card expressing their gratitude.
Life Savers Candies: Keep it extra simple with this sweet idea. On a card for each volunteer, write, “Thank you for being a kidmin Life Saver!” Then tape the card around a roll of Life Savers candies and hand out to each volunteer. Consider giving these to volunteers near Easter, as a reminder to volunteers that their work ultimately points to Jesus, our Rescuer! Find more delicious ways to thank volunteers with these Smile Inducing Ways to Say ‘Thanks’ to Your Volunteers.
Meaningful Slips: Include your ministry’s children in this appreciation gift. Have children from each class complete this sentence on slips of paper: “You’re special to me because…” Then present the slips to the teachers. You may even choose to get extra crafty and cut the slips of paper into seasonal shapes, such as plants and flowers.
Summer Ideas for Retaining Volunteers
Finishing up the school year and heading into hot summer months may leave volunteers feeling a little dry. Refresh them with these ideas!
Personalized Scripture: Create a personalized Scripture card for each volunteer. Include a positive verse and explain why it reminds you of him or her.
Ministry Water Bottles: Give a water bottle to each volunteer and encourage them to cool off and hydrate! You could even find an agency to put your children’s ministry logo and theme verse on the bottles. Attach a note saying, “Thanks for running with our kids’ programs!”
Magnetizing Ministry: Take a photo of each class and print the photos on magnetic printer sheets. Present your volunteers with these special photo magnets and include cards that say, “Thanks for sticking in there! We’re so thankful you were our teacher this year!” Have children from each class sign the cards.
Fall Ideas for Retaining Volunteers
As the school year starts up again, life may pick up pace. Recognize your volunteers’ commitment with these supportive ideas.
Teacher’s Corner: To support your teachers and show appreciation, set aside a room on Sundays that’s just for them. You can include items such as coffee and juice; light snacks, such as muffins; a Bible verse; and resource information, such as an encouraging article or helpful teaching ideas.
Gift Card to a Coffee Shop: Show your appreciation by giving the gift of coffee to your volunteers! Simply email a gift card for a favorite coffee shop to each volunteer and include the note, “Thanks a latte!”
Custom Puzzle: Give a fun and meaningful gift to your volunteers by creating a custom puzzle! For each volunteer, get a blank puzzle and write a note on it with bright colors. Break apart the puzzle, then send the pieces to your volunteer.
For another idea, consider gifting Heartfelt Thanks: For Serving in Children’s Ministry. This resource is a perfect thank-you gift to encourage your volunteers. Looking for more ideas for retaining volunteers? Check out these posts!
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