Volunteer Scramble

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August is time when I scramble for volunteers. Do you have all your volunteers for Sunday School? I don’t. I know some people begin the process of recruiting much earlier than this. I’ve tried that. People would respond by saying that they would contact me in a week and they rarely did. I would call back and it might be another week before I’d get a response. Soon two or three weeks had gone by and I still didn’t have a teacher.

When I contact people in August, they know that a volunteer is really needed. The time for class to start is coming and if they aren’t going to do it, I will need time to find someone else. Sometimes I’ll say, “If the answer is ‘yes,’ take all the time you need. If the answer is ‘no,’ I’d like to know soon.”

There have actually been times when Sunday School has started without all the volunteers in place. Sometimes I’ve had to ask a person who said “no” to full time teaching to lead a class for one or two weeks while I searched for a more permanent volunteer.

When I do this, I often think about years in which I go through all the obvious choices for volunteers -- people I know, people who attend church regularly or people who have children in the program. But even after going through my entire list of prime candidates, I run short. Then I go to the less obvious choices for volunteers; I’ll ask people who I don’t know very well or people who attend church sporadically. To my surprise, sometimes these people say “yes” and turn out to be among the best volunteers! I remind myself of this as I try to think about whom to ask this year to lead our programs. I look at the church directory a second time and ask myself “Who am I missing? Who is not an obvious choice that I ought to be thinking about?” I continue to be surprised at who God has in store for me to work with in our church education ministry.

How is your recruiting going? What tips could you share with leaders who are still looking for a few good volunteers for their Sunday School programs? 

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