Children's Ministry as an Entry Point into Church Volunteering

Jan 20, 2022 9:00:00 AM / by Ruth Sall

I knew when I first started my job in children’s ministry that it would be filled with rewarding experiences working with the kids and families of our church. I enjoy how my calling is not only to coordinate Christian education for children but also to guide the volunteers who help to teach them. What I didn’t know was that, through the work I do with families, one of the primary ways for parents and caregivers to enter into volunteerism and service at church was through children’s ministry. I would be their first contact to help to encourage, grow, and guide their involvement in other areas of discipleship and church involvement.

Children’s ministry is an easy place for new families to first get involved in the workings of church. They want to help with their kids, love to meet other families, and enjoy the connection to tangible activities like Sunday School and holiday events. I love searching out new members for our children’s ministry committee from families who are new to our congregation and bringing their kids to church. In many instances they have never been part of leadership in the church and are eager for wider involvement.

As families begin to put down roots in the church, I enjoy nurturing them into new roles. I have watched many young parents expand their interests to include serving in mission outreach, working in congregational care, and joining other areas of church leadership. I am always listening in our conversations to understand what interests they have and how they feel most welcome at church. When their children grow out of our elementary age programs, I am always sad to say goodbye to the kids and their parents who are ready and excited to move on. I feel like it is a gift to equip parents to move to the next stage with their children and enjoy the growth of activities and educational experiences with them in middle and high school.

I sometimes wish I could keep the children’s ministry volunteers forever. It feels bittersweet to not only watch the kids in the congregation grow up right in front of my eyes, but to also see their parents and caregivers become more involved and welcomed into the church community. I feel tremendous pride to see families grow into roles of service and leadership and know that their first foray into this experience was with their children and children’s ministries.

Topics: Sunday School, volunteering, volunteer

Ruth Sall

Written by Ruth Sall

Ruth Sall is the Director of Children’s Ministry and Music at Abington Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband and three daughters. Ruth loves all aspects of working with children from birth through high school through music, scripture, drama, art and prayer. Her favorite experience to share with others is walking a labyrinth.


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