Few things have as large of an impact on preteens as consistency. Here are three ways to encourage more consistency within your volunteers.
One of my preteens recently reminded me of the big impact that consistency has on kids. This particular preteen used to live on the fringe, but in the last year he moved to the center of our children’s ministry events. I’ve seen him, like many preteens, grow in his faith, and I attribute much of this development to the consistency of our volunteer team and one volunteer in particular: Travis.
I mentioned to Travis that he was having a huge impact on kids, and I was surprised when he responded that he didn’t think he was making a dent. So I told Travis the preteen had said he was his favorite teacher. Travis was stunned. The reason? WhileTravis has been looking for giant steps, he’d missed how the weekly “drips” made a real impact. In my years as a children’s ministry leader, I’ve seen how consistency makes this kind of significant impact. Here are three forms of consistency to encourage in your team.
The Big Impact of a Little Consistency with Preteens
Encourage teachers to show up every week.
Travis’ faithful dedication and consistency wins over our preteens. When your team’s attendance is irregular, it’s hard to build trust and momentum with kids. Our preteens know Travis will be there.
Encourage volunteers to live James 1:19.
Being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry is a great life skill—but it’s a priceless tool when working with preteens. If frustration is our first response, preteens will write us off. Travis consistently listens and is patient. He knows our small group is for “them to grow,” not for “him to control.”
Encourage and enable volunteers to use what God gave them.
The church is one body with many parts (1 Corinthians 12:20). Travis excels at what he’s designed to do, and so can your team. Look for strengths in your team members and match those strengths to roles. When volunteers aren’t in the right position, they end up giving a mediocre offering to God and it blocks you from placing those who are gifted in that area.
Remind your team that impacting preteens is more like drips than buckets of water—and consistent drips over time can fill a bucket.
Brandon Early is director of student ministries at Valley Church in West Des Moines, Iowa.