Getting Your Volunteers Up to Speed

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New Training Ideas

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Here are new ways to teach your volunteers the Scriptures.

  • Bible-Teacher Training — Give your teachers
    an overview of the Old or New Testaments. Max Anders’ Thirty
    Days to Understanding the Bible
    (Word) is an excellent
    resource. In your teacher-training meetings, consider a series on
    what every teacher should know about God and eternal life.
  • Radio Speakers — Encourage teachers to tune
    in to a Christian station. Give specific recommendations so they
    avoid off-the-wall teachers and doctrines. Inform them periodically
    of preaching series that are especially relevant.
  • Devotional Guides — We provide our leadership
    team with monthly devotional guides. Anything you do to stimulate
    teachers to read God’s Word daily will pay healthy dividends.
  • Short-Term Bible Studies — Periodically offer
    a six-week study of God’s Word. Precept Ministries has studies that
    not only teach God’s Word but also train people to do inductive
    Bible studies of their own.
  • Basic Beliefs Course — Consider bringing in a
    teacher to instruct the children in your church’s basic beliefs.
    Briefly focus on a different belief each week such as the
    Incarnation or the sinlessness of Christ. Encourage your teachers
    to attend and participate. Not only will you ground the children,
    but you’ll also equip your teachers.
  • Bible Reading Program — Recommend that your
    staff read through the Bible in a year. A number of good reading
    plans are available at Christian bookstores. I use the plan in the
    back of the Ryrie Study Bible (Moody). By reading the same books of
    the Bible, your teachers can support one another.
  • Bible Survey — No one is more motivated than
    a new teacher. Encourage all new teachers to read through a Bible
    survey book their first year. Henrietta Mears’ book What the Bible
    Is All About (Regal) is a good survey for new teachers. By gaining
    a grasp of the whole Bible, your teachers will find teaching easier
    since they’ll have so much more knowledge to draw from.
  • Lesson Supplements — There are people in your
    church who love in-depth Bible study. Enlist these people to write
    a one-page supplement each week on the Bible passage the teachers
    will be presenting. Have them list important cross references,
    interesting Bible background, and doctrinal truths the passage
    teaches. As your teachers prepare their lessons, they can quickly
    work through the supplement and broaden their understanding of the
    passage and the Bible as a whole.

Passing On The Faith

Great resources to use in training your volunteers.

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Books:

  • Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by R.C. Sproul
    has short chapters that effectively present Bible doctrines.
  • Precept Upon Precept trains people to do inductive
    Bible studies (Precept Ministries, 800-763-8280).
  • The Ryrie Study Bible by Charles Ryrie includes the
    appendix, “A Synopsis of Bible Doctrine,” which contains a helpful
    outline of Bible doctrine (Moody Press, 800-621-5111).
  • Thirty Days to Understanding What Christians Believe
    by Max Anders presents a summary of basic doctrine with self-tests
    and illustrations.
  • The New Christian’s Handbook by Max Anders is a
    four-volume series on the basics of the faith.
  • Devotional Guides:
  • “Daily Walk,” “Closer Walk,” “Family Walk” (Walk Thru the Bible
    Ministries, 800-877-5539).
  • “Our Daily Bread” (RBC Ministries, 800-598-7221).
  • “Tabletalk” (Ligonier Ministries, 800-435-4343).

A PLACE FOR EVERYONE

Rather than turning away volunteers who are still truth-seekers,
find places for them to serve as they grow in the basic belief
areas of the Christian faith. Although you need to avoid placing
seekers in positions where they’d be teaching content, there are
places
these people can serve. A few suggestions:

  • Membership Clerk — Someone who keeps track of attendance.
  • Teacher’s Aide — A helper who’s always accompanied by a
    teacher but encouraged to interact with children.
  • Supply Clerk — Someone who stocks supply closets.
  • Greeter — A friendly person who makes children feel
    welcome.
  • Craft Gatherer — This person is responsible for collecting
    craft supplies for teachers.
  • Bus or Van Driver — Anyone with an appropriate license and
    “nerves of steel.”
  • Publicity Chairman — Preferably someone with access to good
    design software.
  • Recreation Leader — A whiz at leading children in sports and
    games.
  • Snack Chef — The kids’ favorite person in your entire
    program!

David English is pastor of education at a church in
Ohio.

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