At the last children’s ministry conference I attended, all the guys were asked to stand up. I was shocked to see that only about 5% of the room consisted of guys! I hadn’t really thought of it until that moment…most children’s pastors aren’t guys. My years of experience also tell me that most children’s ministries consist of mostly woman volunteers. It got me thinking. Lots of kids come from broken homes and need positive male role models in their lives. And when turning to the church for help, men are hard to come by. Why is that? I really don’t know the complete answer to that question. However, I do know that more guys are needed in children’s ministry, especially preteen ministry. At the Vineyard Church of Kenner I spent years building a team of volunteers in our preteen ministry. We’ve always had a strong guy presence among our leaders and I believe there are a few reasons why.

1. Start small
We started with a few guys on our team who wanted to help out a little. If you have little or no guy involvement, then start small. Think of simple ways guys can help and use them as a doorway into your ministry. Recruit couples to serve on weekends, ask dads to help with events, or ask dads to help build a cool stage in your preteen room. Once taking the first step, guys are more willing to make a greater commitment to serve at a higher level.

2. Guy leaders attract guy leaders
Guys in leadership attract other guys in leadership. Leaders attract others like themselves. I am a guy leader so I intuitively looked for other guys to serve with me. It comes natural. So, what do you do if you’re not a guy? Intentionally recruit guys and place them in key leadership roles. Look for guys to coordinate events, lead worship, and do large group teaching. Once you have guys in key leadership positions, promote them as much as possible. Highlight them when making a recruiting video, put them in a parent newsletter, or spotlight them on your website. Do whatever you can to promote their love and involvement with preteens. Once out in the open, other guys will be encouraged to serve. The more guys who join the team, the greater sense of community will develop, which will keep them in it for the long run.

3. Balance young and old
Target your recruiting efforts to older teenagers and guys in their early twenties. They have a lot to offer – no kids, single, and lots of time on their hands. Talk to the youth pastor and young adult pastor for possibilities. Young people add enthusiasm and fun to a team. Make sure to balance your team with older guys as well. Dads who want to be more involved with their preteens are a great catch. Because they’re really busy, most won’t approach you to volunteer. But most will help if asked. Dads of preteens are great mentors in your ministry. Preteens need others similar to their parents who speak into their lives. Lastly, older guys with grown children can be valuable team members. They add wisdom and strength to your team. Having your team consist of young, old, and everything in between adds a healthy balance to the group.

How cool would it be if your preteen ministry had more guy volunteers? How many more preteens could you reach? The presence of guy volunteers can make a huge impact in any preteen ministry. Make a decision now to build a volunteer team with lots of guys!

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