Chamus Burnside-Savazzini serves as the Director of Children’s Faith Formation at Grace United Methodist Church in Naperville, Illinois since July 2016. She describes this experience as “nothing short of an honor.” She joined the CEF Board of Directors in 2017.
Since I began serving as the Director of Children’s Faith Formation in July of 2016, my goal has been to increase the number of faithful volunteers in the ministry. I did various things to help communicate what was happening on the children’s hall and educate the congregation on how they could get involved. Here is a list of steps I took, and I am still taking, to grow the volunteer pool in the ministry:
- First, I prayed for God to put the children’s ministry on the heart of those who were able to serve.
- I learned what each volunteer did and how he or she served the ministry in the past.
- I took time to meet with and call current volunteers to determine if they would be willing to serve during the new academic year.
- Along with my youth Director and Administrative Pastor, we used the online registration system to get all of the children registered for programs.
- I send a weekly email to the volunteers on Monday, thanking them for their service and communicating what the topic for next Sunday will be and who will be serving with which age group.
- 6. At special times during the year, I present the volunteers with a small token of appreciation. I was amazed at how thankful every single one of them were to get such a humble gesture.
- I ask periodically what they think is going well or what we need to work on. Thankfully, they give me productive feedback AND when appropriate, I implement anything that is possible.
- Each Sunday I try to engage the parents in short conversation just to hear what is going on or has been going on in the family. This helps me to understand the children that come to Sunday school.
- I try to set up the classroom with everything the teachers will need so that they can focus on the lesson and not have to worry about the mechanics of running the class.
- For the teachers that have a routine process, I let them do it their way! This has been wonderful for the children.
- I always check in on the volunteers and make sure all is well in their lives.
- I never forget to say THANK YOU!
I pray that God will continue to grow this ministry and continue to grow the faith of the children, volunteers and myself. God is and always has been faithful!