Have you read The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams? This book has moved into the position of “Top 5 Must Have” books for Kids Ministry. It is LOADED with information.
My friend Dale Hudson is the author of this amazing book. This guy has tons of Kids Ministry Experience and really knows his stuff when it comes to kids, volunteers, recruiting, training and motivating. His blog is loaded with resources and ideas on many different kids ministry related topics. He has a humble spirit and an amazing servant’s heart. I have visited the church many times where he was on staff as the Kids Ministry Director and my kids loved being in the kids program there. He is an international conference speaker and trainer, and I have learned so much from this guy and his experience. He is the author of several kids ministry books, and his most recent, The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams is one of my favourites.
Look what came in the mail today! I love reading books on leadership, especially ones that are related to Disney.
Employee Engagement was written by Pete Blank who was a cast member at Walt Disney World. He shares his knowledge & experiences from working at Disney, specifically on the topic of keeping employees engaged. In the first chapter, he talks about 4 reasons why people work and stay in their jobs. I think the same principles apply to volunteering in kids ministry.
They like the job – These people like to do the role they are doing. They are wired to do it and simply love doing what they are doing.
Look for people to serve in areas of their passion. If you find the role to fit the person, they will stay serving because they are doing what they love to do.
They like the organization – These people believe in the organization. They may volunteer in your church because they believe in it and are willing to do what it takes to see ministry happen.
Look for people who have been around for many years. Different stages of life bring about different serving options. Perhaps people who are retired now have time to invest in the next generation.
They like the boss – These people are connected to the leader. They like how they lead, the friendship & the overall benefits of interacting with the leader.
Connect with people outside of kids ministry. The friends you make will probably want to help you in kids ministry because they have connected with you.
They like the people they work with – These people like to be with their team! Volunteers in these roles have a sense of community with the people they serve with.
Be intentional about placing people on teams where they can connect. Put young adults with young adults. Put families with young children with families with young children. They will probably have a lot in common and will become friends. Friends like to serve with their friends.
If you work on these 4 areas, chances are you will have less turn over and your volunteers will stick around.
When I was at CPC2014 in Orlando I had the opportunity to meet Sergio Cariello. He is the guy who illustrated The Action Bible.
What I love about this Bible, is that it is a Graphic Novel. It is also full color & the pages are glossy paper. My son who has autism has some sensory challenges and he doesn’t like to touch most paper. However, because The Action Bible is made with glossy paper, the texture does not bother him.
The Action Bible makes a great option for kids who have challenges reading. It’s graphic novel style helps tell the stories of the Bible in a way that speaks to their learning style. It’s also a great option for children who have sensory issues because of the glossy pages.
What resources do you use in your children’s ministry to help kids with special needs?
I have started reading this book. Disney U. It’s loaded with great information.
Disney believes that if they treat their employees (aka Cast Members) well, then they will in turn treat their customers (aka guests) well.
One of the things that Disney does with their new cast members is send them to Disney University for orientation. During this process, they teach them about the history of Disney and what it takes to help cast members have a great experience. They take the time to invest in their cast members and paint the picture of what they want them to do. They believe if the cast members are having a great experience working at Disney, then that will transfer into how well they do their job & the guests will have a great experience.
Light bulb moment. Invest in your volunteers. Work hard to help them have a great experience & enjoy what they do. It will have a ripple effect & ministry to children & families will be better because of your investment in volunteers.
How well do you train your new kids ministry volunteers? Do you welcome them with a smile & then put them right to work? At Creekside, we start with an online program that takes about 7 minutes to complete. Volunteers can do this initial orientation training on their own time when it is most convenient for them. We also use a buddy system to partner new volunteers with experienced ones. In the fall we have a big volunteer training event that we pull all the stops out for. We want them to enjoy the training & enjoy what they do when they are volunteering on our Kids Ministry team.
How do you train your new volunteers?
If you haven’t read this book, you should get it. Lots to learn from it.
If you lead a team of volunteers, this is a must read book for you. It’s loaded with 99 chapters that are all 1-2 pages each.
This blog post would be extremely long if I were to list all 99 topics, so I have chosen a few to highlight:
Teach Shoulder Tapping – if pastors are solely responsible for finding volunteers, growth will be limited.
If You Don’t Need a Volunteer, You’re in Trouble – Is your vision too small?
Quality Attracts Quality – If your team is known for quality, then those who value quality will be attracted to your team.
Master the Art of Celebration – Quality celebrations are key to good leadership.
You Grow at the Edges – New people reach new people.
You Can’t Steer a Parked Car – Forward direction and momentum are required to make good decisions about ministry effectiveness.
Helping High-Capacity People – Help them find the place where they will have the most effectiveness.
If you do not already have this book on your shelf, then add it to your list of books to purchase. You’ll be glad you did.
This book is on my top 10 for favorite Kids Ministry books! It’s loaded with ideas. Aaron Reynolds is a creative writer and story teller, and he shares his experience in this book so that people can do a better job of bringing the Bible to life through story telling. It’s a must have on your Kids Ministry book shelf. Here’s a breakdown of the table of contents:
Creating an Atmosphere of Excellence – memorizing, practicing, and evaluating
Fabulous Techniques for Transformational Teaching – a bunch of great stuff in this section
Power Tools of Creativity – 20 Ways to Teach the Bible Creatively
Teaching Evaluation Form – a sample form to evaluate your teaching
Personal Development Plan for Teachers – a tool to help teachers grow
A Training Guide for Ministry Leaders – How to use the book to train your teachers
In North America, Customer Service is what determines if a business is excellent or not. It determines if a customer would return to that business or not.
As families consider attending a church, the ‘customer service’ at that church could be the deciding factor if they return or not.
Disney Institute wrote a book called “Be Our Guest – perfecting the art of customer service”. I have read it several times & have highlighted many sections. It covers topics such as ‘knowing and understanding your guests’ and ‘creating a first impression’. There is so much to glean from this book, but to give you a taste of the treasures found inside, here is a list of
“Walt Disney World Guidelines for Guest Service.”
1. Make Eye Contact & Smile – Start and end every contact or communication with direct eye contact & a sincere smile.
2. Greet & Welcome Each and Every Guest – Extent the appropriate greeting to every Guest with whom you come in contact.
3. Seek Out Guest Contact – Listen to Guest’s needs, Answer questions, Offer assistance
4. Provide Immediate Service Recovery – To the best of your ability, immediately resolve a Guest service failure before it becomes a Guest service problem.
5. Display Appropriate Body Language at All Times – Attentive appearance, Good posture, Appropriate facial expression
6. Preserve the Magical Guest Experience – Always focus on the positive.
7. Thank Each and Every Guest – Extend a sincere thank-you at the end of every transaction.
How do you think these principles are transferable in Children’s Ministry?