Home / 2030 Vision / Growing Younger / The joy of volunteering with children and young people 
Share this page

Share an article by email

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
/ 23 May 2023

The joy of volunteering with children and young people 

In this article, three long-term children and youth workers share how they were impacted by volunteers as children, their first experiences as volunteers and some of the important factors in supporting people who are just starting out in their volunteering journey. 


Why is it great to volunteer with children and young people? 

Stephen: It’s literally life-changing work – the part of ministry where you see most results for your volunteering, as children change and grow as people and in their faith. 

Joelle: You are shaping the foundations of the future. 

Lee: I didn’t grow up in a church family, so I was looked after by church members who made sure I never missed out on anything. Without those people volunteering to host me, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities in my life that I have had. 


Who first encouraged you to volunteer and what did they do? 

Stephen:  It was one of my first Sunday School leaders. She was a remarkably humble person who always spoke to me when I saw her outside of church. She was a real example of what a children’s leader was like. 

Joelle: My dad was a pastor. He gave me opportunities to serve with young people from the time I was twelve years old. I remember how he gave me a deep sense of ownership in ministry.  

Lee: I was invited by my church leader to begin teaching a children’s group when I was twelve years old. Being trusted, supported, and gently mentored was a key part of my growth and development.  


How do you recruit and support new volunteers? 

Stephen: I always try for a personal invitation and tell them why I think they’d be a good person for the role, even if they don’t think they are. Don’t undersell the commitment involved but help people see why it’s such an important ministry. There are some very simple, important things that are useful to share with all volunteers: Safeguarding, children’s spirituality, development stages and multi-sensory teaching. 

Joelle: Do the ”busy prep work” so that volunteers don’t have to worry about planning but can focus on the ministry. Check in with them personally throughout the week. 

Lee: Follow safeguarding, have a compelling vision; make volunteering attractive and keep volunteering achievable. Life is full. Give options, understanding that sometimes people will need to opt-out or be late. Try and establish working in pairs or teams to allow people space to share the load. Challenge the profile gap between paid workers and volunteers. We are a whole mix of skills, energy, experiences – get to know us volunteers and what we might bring!  


Thanks to our three contributors for sharing their insights! 


  • Joelle, King’s Cross Church 
  • Lee, All Saints, Hampton 
  • Stephen, St George’s Tufnell Park   


Growing Younger is a priority for churches in the Diocese of London as we work towards our 2030 Vision – find out how you can grow a volunteer team to engage children and youth here. 

to top