Magnetic Training Meetings

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volunteerIf you have challenges getting
volunteers to attend training meetings, you’re not alone. Borrow
these best practices for boosting your meeting attendance.

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  • Create a compelling reason to come. Don’t just
    promote ministry skills and calendar updates. Include and highlight
    “can’t-miss” experiences in the meeting invitation.
  • Build community. People have two primary
    motivations behind their ministry involvement — it’s a social
    opportunity and they get to serve God. If you don’t provide a
    positive sense of community and fun interaction, people will find
    all the reasons in the world why they can’t make a ministry team
    training meeting.
  • Start and stop on time. A lack of punctuality
    communicates disorganization and irritates schedule-pressured
    people, so honor their time.
  • Include informal interaction and refreshments.
    This 10 to 20 minutes may be the only time some people can “push
    pause” during the week. Limit this time, though, for the sake of
    the more task-oriented people.
  • Teach lessons that help the minister and the
    individual.
    For example, teach children’s ministry staff
    how to improve their parenting skills, not just in the context of
    ministry. Personal growth and self-help are strong motivators.
  • Tell stories. Your team members love to hear
    that they’re making a difference. Most adults don’t see what’s
    happening in the children’s areas, and kids often don’t speak their
    appreciation, so convey it for them. Let your staff hear stories
    from parents and kids.
  • Communicate value. Remind people in advance
    how excited you are to see them at the meeting. When people are
    absent, drop a friendly note, email, or voicemail, to let them know
    some of the fun stuff they missed. Give them an overview of the
    meeting. Make it positive, but don’t just ignore their
    absence.

Alan Nelson
Fort Collins, Colorado

This article is excerpted from Children’s Ministry Magazine.

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