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A group of volunteers participate in a racing-themed training.
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Rev Up Volunteers with This Racing-Themed Training Event

Use this racing-themed event to train your volunteers for a championship year!

Close your eyes, and think about your program next May. Kids graduate to the next level of classes. Teachers are a bit tired, but fulfilled. Lives are changed. Can you see it?

That’s you…standing in the center of the Winner’s Circle! Champagne bottles (nonalcoholic, of course) pop all around you, and your friends bathe you in congratulations for a winning year! Your team reached kids in amazing ways for Christ!

Not only that, but God watches from the stands and shouts over you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!” You and your team celebrate like champions!


So how do you and your team get there? How do you end up crossing the finish line and winning the trophy…not the wooden and metal kind, but the eternal kind that Paul talks about in 2 Timothy 4:7-8: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me — the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return.” To lead your team to a victorious finish this year, get their engines revved up with this racing-themed training event!

Decorations

Cover tables with red tablecloths. Sprinkle black and white confetti on the tables.

Cover your registration table with a red tablecloth, and place bouquets of black and white helium balloons at each end of the table.

On-Track Registration

When your volunteers arrive, give them a Race Guide and a pen or pencil for your training time. They’ll need to keep these handy for later.

Also for the crowdbreaker, tape one of the high-octane fuel words to participants’ backs, without them seeing the word you tape to them. As you tape the word, explain that a winning year is dependent on filling our tanks with the best fuel. Encourage people to mill around and ask one another questions until they finally guess the word that’s on their back. They’ll need to ask yes or no questions to determine what their word is.

Start Your Engines

Say: Welcome to our Get Revved Up event! You are all winners to me! God has brought us together for some amazing things this year. We want to get up to speed for the coming year so we can have a winning ministry as we serve Jesus.

Ask people to shout out the things they discovered in the crowdbreaker that’ll give them high-octane fuel to have a winning year reaching children.

Say: Let’s get started by getting with our Race Crews. Some of you are like drivers who are hands-on with ministry to kids, and some of you are in the pit crews that support our drivers with things such as crafts and supplies or snacks. We need all of you to be a winning team and bring kids across the finish line of faith!

Form groups of four with people who serve in the same area of ministry or with the same age group. Say: It’ll be fun to get to know each other better today! When you get in your group, tell each other the answer to this question: If you were a car, what kind of car would you be and why? Perhaps you’re feeling a little sluggish today and you’d be a beat-up jalopy. Or maybe everything’s clicking for you today and you’re racing on all cylinders. If so, you might be a souped-up Corvette. Allow time.

Say: Okay, Race Crews! Take out your Race Guide and get ready to rumble! or race! We’ve set up five different Pit Stops for you to race through. Go to each one and complete the task at that Pit Stop. Keep track of where you are on your Race Guide. I’ll sound the five-minute warning to let you know when it’s close to the time to finish your race through the Pit Stops.

Pit Stops

Each person has a Race Guide. As people travel through the Pit Stops, they’ll accomplish a task.

InflataRaces

Preparation: For each team, you’ll need a Race Car Balloon Racer. Write and post the Pit Stop Directions for this Pit Stop.

Pit Stop Directions:

  1. The goal of this Pit Stop is to get your car across the finish line. Work with your Race Crew as each person can use only one hand to complete this task.
  2. Take one Race Car Balloon Racer. Inflate the balloon, place it on the top of the car, set it down, and race to the finish line.
  3. If your car stops before the finish line, inflate it again to get it across the finish line.
  4. Discuss with your Race Crew: How easy or difficult was it to get your car across the finish line? What helped or hurt your performance? Which of the things your team experienced could help or hurt our ministry this year? How can our ministry be sure to do the things that’ll help us have a winning year?
  5. On your Race Guide, write your “winning strategy” for this Pit Stop: How will you use what you’ve discovered at this Pit Stop to have a championship ministry?

Remember When?

Preparation: Write and post the Pit Stop Directions for this Pit Stop.

Pit Stop Directions:

  1. Discuss with a partner in your Race Crew about when you were the age of the children you’re ministering to. What do you remember?
  2. Write three words in your Race Guide that describe you at that age.
  3. Discuss: How do you think the kids you’ll be teaching will be similar to how you were at their age? How will they be different? How will remembering you at that age help you be a more effective teacher for today’s kids?
  4. On your Race Guide write your “winning strategy” for this Pit Stop: How will you use what you’ve discovered at this Pit Stop to have a championship ministry?

“Jesus Loves Me”

Preparation: Supply Bibles. Write and post the Pit Stop Directions for this Pit Stop.

Pit Stop Directions:

  1. With your Race Crew, create a song with the words from John 3:16. You can use any tune.
  2. Perform your song for another Race Crew before you leave this Pit Stop.
  3. Discuss with your Race Crew: How are the truths in this verse integral to our ministry to children? How can you demonstrate this verse to kids this year?
  4. On your Race Guide write your “winning strategy” for this Pit Stop: How will you use what you’ve discovered at this Pit Stop to have a championship ministry?

Like a Child

Preparation: Supply paper, crayons, and age-level characteristics for each age group in your ministry. Write and post the Pit Stop Directions for this Pit Stop.

Pit Stop Directions:

  1. Take off your shoes! Grab a sheet of paper and a crayon. Now write your full name backward — first, middle, and last — with your toes!
  2. Discuss with your Race Crew: What was it like to write with your toes? Why was this so challenging? What things challenge the kids you minister to? How can you be sensitive to their limitations and abilities?
  3. Take the age-level characteristics for the age group you minister to so you can understand these kids even better.
  4. On your Race Guide write your “winning strategy” for this Pit Stop: How will you use what you’ve discovered at this Pit Stop to have a championship ministry?

Picture That

Preparation: Write the words laugh, play, talk, pray, encourage, serve, listen, share, feed on paper then cut out each word. Supply paper, pencils, and several timers. Write and post the Pit Stop Directions for this Pit Stop.

Pit Stop Directions:

  1. Have one of your Race Crew members take a slip of paper, look at the word, and draw it on a sheet of paper. No talking allowed!
  2. The rest of your Race Crew will guess what the word is before the time is up on the timer.
  3. Give everyone a turn to draw a word.
  4. Place the cards back in the deck for the next Crew.
  5. Discuss with your Crew: What do all these things have in common? How would these things help you build relationships with the kids we minister to? How are relationships important for spiritual growth?
  6. On your Race Guide write your “winning strategy” for this Pit Stop: How will you use what you’ve discovered at this Pit Stop to have a championship ministry?

Kids Are Smart

Ask:

  • What discoveries did you make along the way?

(Allow responses.)

Say: There was a secret ingredient to our Pit Stops called the multiple intelligences theory. Basically, this theory says that kids are smart in seven different ways. A championship ministry taps into all these intelligences. Take a look at the bottom half of your Race Guide. Get with your Race Crew and match the words on the right with the images on the left.

After Race Crews have finished ask them to identify when the Pit Stops tapped multiple intelligences. Here’s a clue: Every Pit Stop had Self Smart reflection (Winning Strategies) and People Smart interaction. Use this list as your guide for primary emphases (many Pit Stops tapped into more than one intelligence):

  • InflataRaces (Logic Smart)
  • Remember When? (Word Smart)
  • “Jesus Loves Me” (Music Smart)
  • Like a Child (Body Smart)
  • Picture That (Picture Smart)

Afterward, give a sample lesson of your curriculum to each Race Crew. Have crews read the lesson and write the intelligence where they see it being accessed in the lesson.

The Last Lap

Give each person a checkered race flag and a permanent marker.

Say: You guys are a winning team! And each of you has winning ways that’ll help us have a championship year of ministry. Take some time now to write the winning ways you see in others on their flag.

Allow time.

Gather your volunteers, and say: God has prepared you to make a difference in children’s lives! You may not feel that you’re the right person on our team, but you are! God has amazing things in store for us this year as we reach out to the children he has entrusted to us. We will finish…we will bring kids over the finish line of faith…and we will finish well. Watch this video. Just as this team finishes well, may God give us the grace and the commitment to do the same.

Show the clip from Cool Runnings near the end of the movie where the Jamaican bobsled team runs its last race. End the clip after the team walks through the applauding crowd.

Have Race Crews join hands as you close in prayer.

Christine Yount Jones is the former executive editor for Children’s Ministry Magazine and Children’s Ministry Professional Edition.

Want more volunteer management ideas? Check out these articles!


One thought on “Rev Up Volunteers with This Racing-Themed Training Event

  1. Lori Barentine

    Hi,
    I am so excited to use this Revved Up training event for our team this year and I was wondering if the Revved Up Invitation was still available online at your website.
    Thank you,
    Lori Barentine
    Heritage Christian Church

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