Your Awana ministry may be winding down at the end of the school year and the last thing on your mind might be the next ministry year, but recruitment is a never-ending process. Finding amazing leaders to fill your Awana ministry next year can start now!
Here are some of the key tools you have in your Recruitment Toolbox:
1. Invitational Language
“We really need volunteers to help at our Awana club. We are so short-staffed and it’s hard to reach kids with so few leaders. Can you help us?”
“Kids today are facing some really hard stuff. But our Awana club is providing kids with a faith foundation and you can be a part of that! God is doing some amazing things with our kids and I want to invite you to come and be a part of the excitement!”
Take a look at the two examples above. What words do you notice in each? Which one makes you happy? Which one makes you anxious?
When we take the focus off of the “need” and “us” and become “God” and “them” focused, people are more likely to respond. This takes the pressure and guilt off of them, allows them to hear about what God is doing, and invites them to be a part of something fun and exciting.
Using this kind of language in conversation, in public asks, in printed materials, and in all of our recruitment efforts, can create a movement of people who want to be involved, not just people who are begrudgingly filling a need.
“Jack is a second grader and has moved four times in his short life. He’s been attending the Awana club here at our church since September. Every week, his leader greets him with a huge smile and uses his name! Jack gets to feel like he finally belongs somewhere every week when he comes to Awana.”
“Last week, Miss Cheryl, one of our Large Group Time teachers, told the kids the story of Zacchaeus. As a part of the story, she explained that even though we all do bad things, Jesus suffered the consequence for us. We had two kids put their faith in Christ for the first time ever that night! Now they are asking a ton of questions and are eager to read more of their Bibles!”
“Mr. Brandon is one of our T&T leaders. He is a VP at a local bank and is a leader in the community. But every Wednesday night, he shows up and plays crazy games with his group of boys and discusses the Bible with them. He says that it’s his favorite night of the week! And he’s actually memorized all the same verses that his boys are memorizing … he says that his faith is stronger because of what he learns each week at Awana.”
After hearing stories like those, who WOULDN’T want to be a part of that?
What are your stories? What is God doing in your ministry? Always have a couple of stories ready to share with people about what God is doing in your Awana ministry.
Start now! Think of one thing that God has done in a child, a leader, or in your club as a whole.
Now whom do you need to share that story with?
3. Your People
Recruitment can often feel very overwhelming. The best part is, you don’t have to do it alone! Enlist other leaders to help.
-Tap into their networks: Ask each leader to give you 2-3 names of people they think might make good leaders. Follow up with each one of the names you are given.
-Have an “Invite a Friend Night” for the leaders! Have each leader bring another adult to club to shadow them and see first hand what serving in Awana is all about! *
-Some people have a natural gift of “connecting.” These are the people who seem to know EVERYONE in the church and community. Tell them about the kind of people you are looking for and see if they know of anyone. Ask them to reach out to the people in their lives. Even if this is not your gift, partner with someone who naturally does this well!
*Make sure this kind of event follows your church’s Child Protection Policy.