When I talk to children’s ministry leaders around the country about volunteer recruitment, I always say one of the best ways to recruit and keep volunteers is to train them! There are many reasons why training volunteers can be challenging: it is hard to gather people together; it’s expensive; the church calendar gets filled up with other events, etc. While these reasons and others may tempt you to not host regular trainings, I want to share four reasons why I think training your children’s ministry volunteers is one of the most important things you can add to your church calendar, put in your budget, and recruit your volunteers to do!
Excitement! We want our volunteers to be excited to serve! When we gather together for training, we can cast a vision. We can help our volunteers see that they are a part of the larger vision of the church body. They are a part of teaching the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord (Ps. 78:4). We can share with them why what they are doing matters and they have a significant role to play that will be FUN! We want them to leave training excited to serve in children’s ministry!
Expectations! How can we expect volunteers to know the policies and procedures, curriculum, or what their specific volunteer role is if we do not share expectations with them? Sharing expectations with volunteers will produce confidence in both you and them. They will do a better job in their role and oftentimes make your job easier as your volunteers are better equipped in their place of service.
Examples! I love using part of my training time to take volunteers through the curriculum. To do this, I will often model a lesson through roleplay. Training is a great time to share ideas, walk them through the schedule of their time with children, and go over resources for the classroom. It’s always helpful to be as specific as possible with our volunteers and to remember this may be the first time they have ever been in a role like this!
Encouragement! Encouragement is so important for our volunteers. We want them to know they are not alone. The Lord is with them, the leadership is behind them, and there is a community among them serving our children together. We want to remind volunteers this is a great calling and opportunity. There is great blessing in being part of discipling our children and teaching them about the Lord from a very young age! We all need encouragement when serving in the church! Use training to do this for your children’s ministry volunteers!
Finding a time to plan, host, and recruit to a training may not be easy, but it is WORTH IT! You will find that if you regularly train your volunteers, they will be better equipped, more committed, and likely more excited about the vital role the Lord has called them too!
Visit our children’s ministry website to watch a short training video on this topic!