Redeemer Lutheran Church is committed to providing a safe, nurturing and faith building environment for children and youth participating in ministry activities. We also aim to build programs of excellence that support our vision of creating programs that equip and inspire our youth to lead lives led by Jesus Christ.
The Bible clearly communicates the high value that God places on children. In Mark 10:14 Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth; anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in His arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.”
In order to do all that we can to protect the children and youth in our care and provide programs of excellence, we place a high priority on the careful recruitment, screening, placement, and ongoing support and training of all of our staff and child/youth serving volunteers: teachers, caregivers, and leaders who serve in our children’s and youth ministries.
The following are our policies for volunteers that work with children and youth.
Volunteers in children or youth ministry are required to regularly attend Redeemer for a minimum of 3 months prior to volunteering in children or youth ministry. This waiting period allows potential volunteers to become an active part of the church and have an understanding of the church’s mission, vision and values.
It also gives staff leaders time to get acquainted with a potential volunteer, allowing a better match of ministry opportunity to volunteer interest and ability.
Additionally, by attending regularly you strengthen your own faith and role model for children and youth at Redeemer the importance of being engaged in the church.
Exemptions to the Waiting Period (normal screening procedures still apply):
- Volunteers who would like to assist “behind the scenes” with no direct contact with children/youth (i.e. cooking, setup, tear down, administrative work) may begin volunteering in these areas without the above required waiting period – at the discretion of Christian Education Committee or Youth Committee.
- Volunteers who have previous volunteer experience within a church setting with children or youth and have begun attending Redeemer for various reasons, including: moving to the Quad Cities area or attending a local college- may begin volunteering with children/youth without defined waiting period – at the discretion of children/youth ministry staff. Additional screening will include one reference be provided and consulted, one of which must be from the individual’s previous church.
Extensions for the Waiting Period to Six Months (normal screening procedures still apply):
- Volunteers who will be in a role overnight with in-person contact with children/youth. This includes mission trips, youth gathering, overnight retreats/workshops. This requirement does not apply to paid staff. The Christian Education Committee or Youth Committee shall have the authority to waive this six-month rule upon request, where appropriate.
Initial Volunteer Screening Procedures
1) Initial Questionnaire/Application: Questionnaire will include opportunity for the potential volunteer to share about themselves, their interest in where they would like to volunteer and their experience. This assists staff in optimal placement of volunteers.
2) Personal Meeting/Interview: Potential volunteers meet personally with the Children and Education/Youth Director. Every effort will be made to match an individual’s interests and abilities with the ministry’s need. In this meeting, the questionnaire will be reviewed, child safety, and ministry expectations and needs will also be explained.
3) Notification: Volunteer applicants will be notified of their acceptance and placement in a timely manner. When possible within a week after their interview. Notification will be made via phone and when possible in person. Decisions are based on interests, skills, Children/Youth program vision, and Youth Strategic Plan.
1) Volunteers for mission trips and extended overnight trips (i.e. Youth Gathering) will undergo a background check by a provider selected by Redeemer. Volunteers will be screened based on national recommendations for youth serving volunteers. The cost for the background check will be footed by the church.
25 Years or Older
Volunteers for mission trips and extended overnight trips (i.e. Youth Gathering) must be 25 years or older. This is since car rental and vans is frequently required for these type of events and a driver under 25 years limits options.