Encourage Your Volunteers: One-Minute Motivators


With the start of a new school year, there is simply too much to do! Urgent phone calls to parents, issues with curriculum, classroom decorations, and promotional events all press for your time. Caring for volunteers often falls to the bottom of the priority pile.

Though preparation and planning are valuable aspects of leading a ministry, you cannot afford to neglect the health and welfare of your volunteer team. Taking time to connect with teachers and staff leaders is an irreplaceable part of retaining people who serve in the children’s ministry.

To encourage your team, start using these simple “one minute motivators” today!

Verbal Motivators

  • Make unannounced phone calls to members of your team. Simply communicating how much you appreciate them is always a welcome surprise.
  • Give volunteers a special blessing by taking a moment to pray for them while on the phone or on a Sunday morning.
  • Pause at classroom doors and tell the workers how much you appreciate all they do for kids. (Encourage parents to do the same.)
  • Tell volunteers that you are praying for them. Invite your teaching team to pass along their student prayer requests.
  • Express praise for things you notice a volunteer doing well.

Written Motivators

  • Send handwritten notes that express your gratitude. In our electronic world, a handwritten note says, “You are worth the time and effort.”
  • Encourage parents to write, text, or email words of appreciation to volunteers who teach their children.
  • Provide “thank you” notecards for students to send to their teachers. When kids show their gratitude, motivation multiplies!
  • Take photos of teachers serving; mail them along with a handwritten card.

Tangible Motivators

  • Be available before or after class to serve your staff: carry boxes to the car, fetch supplies, bring coffee, etc.
  • Quietly enter the classroom, catch the teacher’s attention, and simply smile or offer a “thumbs-up” signal.
  • Before class, place a small “party favor” in the classroom for your volunteers. A gift card, cookie, or other item says, “I really appreciate you!”
  • Remember volunteer birthdays and give them a small gift to celebrate.

What are you doing this fall to encourage your team? Have fun brainstorming about the best ways to bless your volunteers this season!

Free Resources

Click here for the free download “Train Your Team” with One-Minute Motivators tips for encouraging your staff.

Click here to listen to the webinar “Affirmed & Encouraged: It’s Music to a Volunteer’s Ears”


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