People are busy! It is hard enough to get people to volunteer, so how can we ask them to serve every week? Weekends are busy with family commitments, or time to relax and sleep in. Volunteering weekly will be the most rewarding for volunteers but how can we get them to understand that?
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.
When people sign up to volunteer in our Kids Rooms, we want to equip them with all the info they need to get started, and do their job well. It can be a little overwhelming for a new volunteer to try to remember everything, so we created some booklets for each room that give them the basics to get started.
Sometimes I like to show my volunteers a video clip to illustrate a point. Despicable Me is a great movie that shows an example of Gru doing a not so great job as a dad, and then later, a much better job as a dad. This illustration can be used when it comes to volunteers in Kids Ministry. These two Despicable Me video clips illustrate how volunteers can own their role instead of rent it.
Every year we have a volunteer training event in September. We review the safety stuff as well as the vision and values. It’s a chance for new volunteers to learn the basics and returning volunteers to be reminded about why we do what we do. At this event we review our Volunteer Training Book. This book outlines our safety policies as well as the need to know info for our Kids Volunteers.
If you want things to run smoothly in Kids Ministry, it’s probably a good idea to spend some time training your team of volunteers. However, usually when you mention the word volunteer training, people’s schedules suddenly fill up quickly. Here are some tips that can help you be successful at creating a volunteer training event that people will want to come to:
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. When it comes to training volunteers, I think we can learn a few things from Doug Lipp’s book.
Kids Kount Publishing has created some great kids ministry training videos to help train Kids Ministry Staff & Volunteers. Each video is 2 minutes or less, and is available online for free. No subscription, so signing up…just click on the video & press play!
Once a year I host a Kids Ministry Training Event for all my Kids Ministry Volunteers. I do it “conference style” with Main Sessions and Workshops. I work hard to create a fun event that people enjoy coming to so that they will want to come to the next training event. This particular event was a Monster Mash.
The Fabulous Reinvention of Sunday School 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.
I teach 2 Children’s Ministry courses at Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener, Ontario. One of the classes was on the topic of leadership. I used this team building activity to demonstrate how important communication skills are when leading a team. The students were able to pull all kinds of valuable lessons from this exercise. Here’s how it works:
When new volunteers come to volunteer in Kids Ministry it’s important to make them feel welcome and give them details about what they need to do. Crossroads Church has a sign posted in their kids rooms that reminds the current volunteers what they should do when a new volunteer arrives in the room to serve.