Let me ask you something. Could you do your job without volunteers? I mean, really? Could you? I’m thinking the answer is “No.” Unless you have some amazing church budget where you can hire unlimited childcare providers, you need volunteers to make your preschool ministry run. But, you don’t just want it to run. You want it to thrive! You want it to impact the next generation! You want it to be the best it can be!

If you want all that, then you need your volunteers to not only show up, but to be invested, to partner with you, to get the vision and pass it on. And, we want to help you do that . . . with three E words.

You need to encourage your volunteers through email, text, Facebook. However you can praise and encourage them, do it. They need to know (often) that what they do for your environment matters and that you appreciate it. I do First Look for a living, and I volunteer at my local church. The thank-you note I got last week from my church leader actually meant more to me than the direct deposit in my bank account the next day. Connect with your volunteers and encourage them. Relationships matter.

Are you providing your volunteers with everything they need to win? Are the supplies ready and the curriculum distributed prior to 9 a.m. on Sunday? Do they feel ready to lead their preschoolers when they arrive in your environment? When everything is ready to go, it shows that you as the church leader think what happens in those preschool rooms is important, and your volunteers will think it’s important too. If they don’t have what they need, how can they do what you ask?

Volunteers are an integral part of your preschool ministry. They are in the trenches. They are implementing the curriculum each Sunday. They know what works with their kids. Invite them to share what they know and see with you on a regular basis. Ask for key volunteers’ help when casting vision for the curriculum and any system changes. When volunteers feel they are part of the team, they will give more and do more to help the environment succeed.

When volunteers are invested and involved, your preschool environment will thrive and more people will want to be a part of it. Provide them with the three E words and watch them grow!