My church has three campuses running ~1800 in combined weekly attendance, and each of our campus kid’s ministry coordinators is currently managing a spreadsheet for a four week rotation of that campus’s kid’s ministry volunteers. They are reaching a stage where the spreadsheet is still working but it’s starting to consume more and more of their time and stress each week just to stay on top of it.
I know that as churches grow their procedures and methodologies have to change. What have people found to be the next stage of thinking and tools about scheduling kid’s ministry volunteers after the spreadsheet becomes insufficient?
What ChMS are you using again? Shouldn’t scheduling and communication with volunteers be part of that? I know a lot from this group will probably point you to PCO for volunteer scheduling but adding another data silo is not ideal if your ChMS could handle it. Is that an option?
Hey Daniel! We have 6 campuses and 4500 in weekly attendance and we are still using Google sheets for most teams, including our family ministry. We are in the process of moving teams over to our church management system (Community Church Builder). As David mentioned, several ChMS have volunteer scheduling functionality which will be superior to spreadsheets.
We recently converted to Shelby Arena for ChMS and are learning the nuances of volunteer management. There are some really neat tools, but we’re still developing our own methodology.
We just started with MP about 4.5 months ago. They have wonderful tools for bulk emailing and bulk texting. Volunteer scheduling is not something that they do well. The good news is that they have a PCO sync tool though.
Back when I was in full-time ministry (at least full-time pastoral ministry), I was a Children’s pastor for a church of about 8,000 people and we had well over 800 elementary age students per week. We didn’t need any tools at that stage, but it largely depends on how they are running the children’s ministry (ours was a “kids church” setting that broke up into small groups after the main lesson but in the same auditorium so there was tons of flexibility; the “rotation” was “school-year” volunteers and “summer-break” volunteers and we usually had to force that summer break on the school-year volunteers ). If you are smart about how you setup a children’s ministry and how you pick your curriculum, you pretty much just need to track who is a children’s ministry volunteer and whether or not they have had a background check and been through the baseline training (policies and anti-grooming at the very least), both of which are mandatory before being in the same room as kids.
Unfortunately, if you are handling IT, you probably aren’t in a place where you can influence how the children’s ministry works. Shorter rotations for kids is bad for every stakeholder for a whole list of reasons. I wouldn’t go out of my way to enable it; rather, I’d let them do their thing until they recognize they need to re-think the approach or until you guys hire a children’s pastor and they come in and start to change the approach.