If you are a parent and go to church, it is likely that your children are being ministered to by some pretty amazing volunteers. Here are a few easy ways that you can show appreciation and love to them, and it won’t cost you a dime!
1. Communicate anything that will help them better serve your child. Volunteers are there because they want to serve your kids. They want to do the very best they can to make everyone’s experience better. Sometimes you know valuable information that you may not think you need to share. It may be because you think it is a short amount of time so that info isn’t relevant or because you just simply don’t think about it. If your child has any kind of diagnosis, please make sure the volunteers know. They are not going to judge your family or treat your child differently, other than working to make it a better environment. If something is going on at home, share that privately so that volunteers know your child needs extra love. If you have behavior tricks that you know help your child, please share them!
2. Offer to be their substitute for a Sunday. Every volunteer needs a break every now and then. It can be stressful to find someone to cover your class. Offer to be their sub whenever they need it so that they don’t have to worry about it. Teaching may not be your thing, and I get that. But this is your kid’s class. You can make it for a week. Or you may discover you love it!
3. Pick up your kids on time. It is so easy to get stuck in the hall talking to someone. And I totally understand that conversations are 100x easier without children under foot. However, your kids’ volunteers are really ready to go home or to service or to lunch. They have probably used every game they know to fill time while the pastor preached a little long. You can show great love and respect for children’s ministry volunteers by picking up your kids quickly.
4. Ask questions before you assume the worst. Sometimes our kids get things a little confused and sometimes you don’t get the whole story. Lots of times kids share a statement a teacher made but take it totally out of context so it sounds like complete heresy. Or they share about a situation that happened that sounds absolutely terrible, but maybe they left out a few key details. It is so easy to go into parent-panic and turn it into a def-com 5 situation. Let me encourage you to try to get all the information first, from the volunteer. Usually it is not what you think. Sometimes it might be and then you can address that at a higher level. But 95% of the time, the situation of concern is mainly a misunderstanding.
5. Say thank you. Always remember that volunteers are just that – volunteers. They don’t have to be there. They aren’t being paid. They are making a sacrifice. They are in that room because they love Jesus and they care about your kids and mine. They wipe noses, tie shoes, and pray for dead pets. They solve behavior problems and teach Bible skills. They are not perfect. But they are there and they are serving your kids in the best ways they know how. Take an extra minute this Sunday to tell them you appreciate them.
6. Ask questions (nicely) before you assume the worst.