On this blog, we talk a lot about kids: who they are, how to best connect with them, their needs, and their wants. We have also talked about parents: how to equip them, and how to help them during difficult discussions. But there’s one group of people your ministry can help that you may be missing- and they are currently in your church!
Who is this group of people, you ask? Before we answer that question, here are some interesting facts about this particular group. According to research by the Search Institute, only 38 percent of the people in this group know and understand the Bible, while 39 percent know how religious faith forms and develops. And only 30 percent understand their denomination’s theology and tradition.
Have you figured out who your ministry might be missing?
Believe it or not, these statistics refer to ministry teachers and volunteers. Besides not being equipped spiritually, only “32 percent of children’s volunteers express a mature faith characterized by a life-transforming relationship with God and a consistent devotion to serving others,” according to the Search Institute.
We talk a lot about outreach, and for good reason- it’s very important. But what about “inreach”? How well are you making sure your team is mentally equipped and spiritually fed? Fully 8 out of 10 children’s workers said they would be interested in learning more about the Bible. We have people under our care who are craving more spiritual growth.
The good news is that you may already be taking the steps you need to help give your volunteers a spiritual boost. If you need some inspiration, here are seven simple ideas!
1.Meaningful Meetings-You likely already have regular meetings with your team. Make sure to include time for Bible study.
2.Required Reading-On average, a children’s volunteer, when alone, will only open his or her Bible once or twice a month. Ask interested team members if they want to read the Bible together in a year or two.
3.Handy Handouts-If you are anything like me, you have a handout for your volunteers at every meeting to help keep your team aware of upcoming events and schedule changes. Include a short devotion on your handouts!
4.Facebook Fellowship-You may have a Facebook group for your team. Encourage teachers and volunteers to post God sightings, which are times throughout the day when they see God working in their lives.
5.Tag Team-It’s easy to rely on the same volunteers repeatedly, but you could be taking them away from the service or class that could recharge and reenergize them. Make sure to swap out your volunteers and give opportunities to be taught rather than to teach.
6.Godly Gifts-We are always looking for ways to thank our volunteers. Finding a good devotional that is personally relevant for each volunteer may take some time, but your team will be more likely to read it. Or, do something creative. Give a calendar with Bible verses you’ve written down on random days.
7.Prayer Power-Finally, don’t forget to pray for your volunteers; not only that they will be able to teach their lessons or remember the schedule, but pray for each of them personally.
So, don’t forget the backbone of your team-your volunteers. Encourage them and make sure you are helping meet their spiritual needs. Remember, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
How do you encourage your volunteers? Do you and your team have a regular Bible study? What are ways you help your teachers grow spiritually? Let us know in the comments below!