Next to “recruiting” volunteers, training is perhaps the most challenging element of leading in Children’s Ministry. But it is our job to equip God’s people to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12).
Here are some methods you can use to train volunteers:
- Annual Events – can be a key vision-casting and team-building event. Invite the Lead Pastor to make an appearance. Allow time for him to cast the vision for the entire church and show how Children’s Ministry is a part of that vision.
- Regularly Scheduled Equipping Sessions – held monthly or quarterly, these can focus on big picture elements or specific tasks and skills. These can include large groups or more specially-focused target groups.
- Train the Trainer – equip your main leaders to equip those serving under them.
- Apprenticeships – have new volunteers work under more experienced leaders to learn how to do what needs to be done.
- Hallway Moments and Coffee Conversations – informal, but intentional. Have the courage and confidence to initiate these to encourage or instruct a volunteer one-on-one.
- Written Resources – refer books, magazine, and online articles for training on specific topics pertaining to Children’s Ministry.
- Media – use e-newsletters and social media (or even a mobile Children’s Ministry app) to communicate instructional information, schedules, etc. to your volunteers.
Whatever method you use, develop a specific plan of training that is required of all volunteers. Some of the topics you need to cover include:
- Job Descriptions and Expectations
- Code of Conduct and Lifestyle Expectations
- Church and CM Policies and Procedures (safety, registration, bathroom policies, etc.)
- Discipline Plan
- Length of Time Commitment Expectations
- Specialized “Ministry to Children” Topics – i.e., How to Teach Creatively, Building and Presenting a Bible Lesson, How to Lead a Child to Christ, etc.