As the school-year approaches all too quickly, it’s time to think about training volunteers, many of whom may be volunteering with kids ministry for the first time. As you train these new volunteers, consider including these 6 elements:
Direction. Tell new volunteers what to do. Help them understand their role. Give clear directions and show them what success looks like in the ministry. What are your expectations of these new volunteers?
Inspiration. Cast a big vision for them. Remind them of the work the Lord is doing in your church’s kids ministry. Show evidence of the need for workers in the church. What these volunteers are doing makes a difference, and they need YOU to remind them of that!
Encouragement and Prayer. Let them know you care. Show them that you really do pray for them. Say "Thanks" as often as you can. Let them know you appreciate volunteers helping kids know and love Jesus. Encourage them to share when things are not going well. Let new volunteers know you really will pray for those kids who are struggling in my group!
Mentors. Find experienced volunteers to help the new ones along. Give them someone who has lived in their shoes, who can answer questions, and help them get started. Facilitate these relationships from the very beginning, and let your experienced volunteers know you’ll need their help in this area.
Feedback. Up front, set up the expectation that you’ll give feedback. Tell them how they are doing. If you’ve encouraged them and shown you care, then feedback is just what they need. Remember they are not perfect but help them to stay on track with where you are leading the team.
A Challenge. Allow them to grow! Give them something new to tackle. Don’t give them Mt. Everest to climb in your first training meeting, but a small hill leading to a small victory can help them grow in my service and leadership.
New volunteers need help, affirmation, encouragement, direction, and lots of prayer. Set an example and keep them focused on the big picture, the end goal. What else to new volunteers need? Comment and add your thoughts!