Like Volunteer Structures, Volunteer Training is important regardless of the curriculum you use. Your system for regularly equipping and training volunteers can look a number of different ways. You’ll want to adapt it to your specific setting and needs, and it will likely change over time.
Here are some tips as you build your volunteer training system, specifically related to volunteers implementing 252 Basics.
Having new volunteers apprentice alongside experienced volunteers is the best training you can provide. They can apprentice with the volunteer who leads their team or with a great volunteer who has served in the same role they’re stepping into.
Create a Rhythm
Determine how often you want to gather volunteers for training events and what they’ll look like. Will you train them all together or broken down into ministry teams? Will you have them every other month, four times a year, or maybe one to kick off fall and another before spring? Decide how often you’ll have volunteer training events and stick to that rhythm.
Include Orange / 252 Basics
As you plan volunteer training events, choose a theme to focus on. Sometimes the theme will be specific to 252 Basics or Orange, and sometimes it will be more general. Even if you do focus on something more general, always work in some of the Orange principles or content specifically related to 252 Basics. One idea is to focus on an Orange Essential at each training, even if it’s not the primary focus.
Clarify the Win
This is a principle from one of the best ministry books out there, 7 Practices of Effective Ministry. The idea is to create a simple statement that best clarifies the most important goal of a ministry, event, or volunteer role. In the Orange-apedia online resource, you can find roles with some wins to start with. Communicate these when people come on board and reinforce them at volunteer trainings.
Connect the Dots
Connect the dots between the volunteer roles people serve in and how that helps you accomplish your mission as a children’s ministry. Talk about the goal of having a child follow Jesus and grow their faith, and connect the dots between that end point and how everything you do and every volunteer role helps you get there.
Use Stuff Leaders Want
Stuff Leaders Want is a resource provided by Orange to help you develop as a leader and to help you develop your team. The subscription is cheap and there’s a ton of great content to use in training volunteers. You can find entire volunteer training events complete with ideas for invitations, decor and more in Stuff Leaders Want.
I hope these tips are helpful to you as you seek to train volunteers who are involved in implementing 252 Basics at your church.
What volunteer training questions or tips can you share?