3 Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Male Volunteers

3 Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Male Volunteers
December 11, 2014 Bob D'Ambrosio

Attracting and keeping Christlike men to serve the children and youth in your ministry is a significant challenge. Here are the three most common mistakes that leaders often make:

1. Using guilt to manipulate men to serve. Men want to be part of something bigger than themselves and are more responsive to being inspired than to being shamed into reluctant service. We need to help them understand that kids ministry is really the frontline of ministry.

2. Not giving men clear expectations. Let’s face it…many ministry leaders are often juggling so many balls they tend to drop a few. This is problematic because men respect leaders who are well organized and know exactly where they’re going. We need to be clear about how we measure success in ministry and what part volunteers play in accomplishing that success.

3. Gearing recruitment and training toward women. Most men don’t naturally lean to the “emotional side” and usually won’t look for ways to nurture, so we’ve got to help them use their natural gifts to connect with kids and young people. Some of the greatest times of ministry between men and kids will be on a basketball court, a mountain bike trail, or at a Taco Bell. So when men experience effectiveness in discipling/mentoring within these settings, they can, and often do, become more sensitive to the progress kids are making. If we don’t allow for the natural ways men influence the lives of kids, they may come to the conclusion that “it’s just not for me.”

Many children and youth today need a positive male role model in their life. If we design recruitment methods with these suggestions in mind, we may discover that the men outnumber the women serving in kids ministry!


  1. Debbie Davis 9 years ago

    I am a female volunteer leader who works primarily in the area of Children’s Ministry. I am a big fan of Group Publishing and I enjoy your many great suggestions for encouraging and supporting volunteers.
    I appreciate the author’s use of a few qualifying words like “most” men to present these suggestions. My church is very fortunate to have men working in our Children’s Ministry programs who are naturally nurturing.
    I wonder if the ideas presented in this article might be more applicable to certain types of people rather than to the specific gender of the volunteer.
    I agree that using guilt to motivate people is always a bad idea.
    I also agree that some volunteers are not good at “intuiting” what needs to be done, so they benefit from clear, specific, detailed instructions. I have seen this in both male and female volunteers.
    I do like the suggestions about encouraging energetic, athletic volunteers to connect with kids through physical activities. We have both male and female athletes involved in our Children’s Ministry program and they have taken the children along on many high-energy, fun, outdoor adventures.
    Thanks again for the helpful suggestions.

    • Author
      Bob D'Ambrosio 9 years ago

      Debbie – thanks for your awesome feedback and suggestions. I do agree that many of these tips would apply to both men and women, but we were trying to get people to think how they can approach men to serve within children’s ministry that might resonate best with them. My church once held a “men’s month” in Sunday School with the purpose of staffing men in all the positions. Guess the point is, let’s think of creative ways to let men know they can impact the life of a kid…and may even enjoy it!

  2. Debbie Davis 9 years ago

    Bob – Thank you for taking the time to reply to my comment. I appreciate it!

  3. ravinn 9 years ago


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