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8 Quick Tips to Equip Ministry Volunteers

Quick tips to equip — all you have to do is add volunteers! Here are 8 ways to equip your volunteers.

Since we live in an instant-everything culture, we’re always on the lookout for ways to save time. After all, if you can have your car oil changed in 10 minutes, why can’t you equip your volunteers with ease and speed?

Volunteer training takes more than a quick fix, but there are several quick things you can do to energize your children’s ministry volunteers. Check out these time-saving ideas to equip your volunteers for the long run.

1. Email Energy

Almost everyone has access to email. So rather than holding another meeting, pass on training tips by email. Build an address list so with one click of the button you can send a note of encouragement, teacher-training information, or program updates. Your volunteers can click Reply All to exchange comments with the entire email list.

2. Tape-Talk

Instead of doing all your equipping face-to-face, consider voice-to-ear. Record an audio track (think like a podcast!) on a training topic so your volunteers can train as they go. That commute to work each morning or walk after dinner could double as training time. And you don’t have to invest in lengthy research for your script. Simply share about a current article on child development and then tell your response to it.

3. Training

With the click of a button, you can send out a virtual “class” and have your volunteers train at home. Many colleges and training centers offer low-cost distance-learning courses that would be beneficial for people who minister to children. Some insurance companies offer classes on risk management and child safety — most of which are free to policyholders.

4. You’ve Got Mail

While email is the norm today, it just doesn’t have the same impact as good old-fashioned snail mail. Send out “teacher tips” from your curriculum guides and other educational sources with a handwritten sticky note of encouragement. Sprinkle a little confetti in the envelope before sealing for a festive delivery. Everyone loves to get a surprise in the mail.

5. Holy Huddle

In football, the team huddles before each play. Before your ministry action, gather your team together for prayer, announcements, and a Bible verse for ministry focus. The synergy of the team gives each person incredible inspiration — enough to handle a room full of toddlers.

6. Just Ask

You don’t have to plan an entire training event to make people think. Consider how you can ask your volunteers the right question at the right time to get them thinking. It can be a very subtle and quick training tool.

7. Pin Me

On any given Sunday at her church in Ellisville, Missouri, Michelle Thompson, children’s ministry director, can be found “pinning” her volunteers. She randomly hands out a smiley face button as she says, “Here’s a smile for you for all the things you do to make our kids smile!” Thompson says it equips volunteers with motivation and confidence to start their day knowing they make a difference in the lives of children.

8. Mentor Magic

When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he showed them how — by praying. Match a new recruit with an experienced volunteer to build a mentor relationship. Some of your staff may have the wisdom and discernment that comes only from experience. Make sure their knowledge and experience is passed on to the rookies.

Helping volunteers succeed in ministry demonstrates caring leadership. Equipping volunteers doesn’t have to drain your time and energy. Sometimes the quick and simple ideas are the ones that last a lifetime.

For more volunteer management ideas, check out Don’t Just Teach…Reach! This book shares simple and practical tips to help you really reach others. You can also check out these articles!

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