Have you ever experienced the following as a children’s ministry volunteer: a few weeks before class begins you are handed a curriculum, assigned a classroom, and then left to figure out the rest by yourself? I have; and felt completely unprepared and discouraged – it was going to be a LONG year! If you’ve had this experience, you know this approach is not conducive to either the volunteer, or the students, flourishing in the classroom. Yes, it’s possible to overcome the challenges created by a lack of training, but it doesn’t have to be this way; nor should it be the norm.I am happy to say that for most of my years in children’s ministry, I’ve had the great privilege of being well prepared for the Sunday school year. At a minimum this included:
- Volunteer training sessions that laid a solid foundation including: giving us a vision—the big picture for why this work is a worthy investment of our time and effort—as well as practical help for using the curriculum and understanding classroom policies and procedures.
- All the tools necessary for a well-stocked classroom: whiteboards, easels, visuals, student workbooks, Bibles, small group supply bins, pens or pencils, optional craft supplies, etc.
- Regular encouragement from our ministry leadership throughout the year: thank you notes, classroom visits, praying with and for our team, year-end appreciation meal, etc.
Being fully equipped, trained, and encouraged made all the difference. It helped me be a better teacher year after year and fueled a joyful camaraderie and peaceful calm in the classroom. Most of all, the students were better served as God’s Word was taught with greater clarity and heart-felt joy.
At Truth78, want to help Children’s pastors and other children’s ministry leaders go beyond recruiting, to preparing, their volunteers. Our new Core Training Series is designed to help all children’s ministry volunteers be more fully equipped, trained, and encouraged in their roles. While nothing can replace a well thought-out, hands-on training program by church leadership, the Core Training Series can provide every ministry volunteer with some basic help for flourishing in their roles. Ideally, your church can use these tools as part of a larger, ongoing intentional plan for preparing and supporting volunteers.
Children’s ministry leaders can make the most of this series by distributing these PDFs to volunteers digitally, or as hard copies. Ministry volunteers can print any applicable documents for themselves, and use the full series to make their church’s leadership aware of these new training resources.