Training Session Tips for New Kids Ministry Volunteers

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whiteboardTraining new volunteers builds their confidence and makes the ministry run smoothly–that’s important when you have a room full of rowdy kids!
Before you consult the calendar for a good date, consider making a few needed steps to maximize the impact of your training session. These creative ideas and fundamental principles will insure that your new team members get just what they need.
Event themes: Want to capture the imagination of your workers? Use a theme for your next training session. Themes don’t have to be complicated, just a simple theme that you can easily implement into your training session. Here are a few suggestions to get you started

  • You’re Tops!
  • The A-Team
  • The Winner’s Circle
  • Big Dreamers
  • Clowning for Kids

Prepared training content: You may excel at “winging it” but that won’t be enough for a training session. Your volunteers will need to consult the information later so have prepared training content available. Invest a bit of time in creating some exciting, informational PDF’s or print outs. Have an outline available!
Fun activities: Take your theme to the next level with activities that correspond with them. For example, if you were going to use the Winner’s Circle theme, have a hula hoop on the floor as a Winner’s circle for team members to stand in. Decorate the area with an Olympic theme and take pictures of each individual standing in the Winner’s Circle.
Remember the Fundamentals

  • Start and end on time. Show your team members that you respect their time. It’s much easier to receive what you give.
  • Offer child care. This may not be possible for every event but offering child care during training sessions is a kind gesture.
  • Serve good refreshments. Spring for something a little more than a bag of stale chips and store brand dip. They probably won’t complain if you did but show them how much you appreciate them with something special to snack on.
  • Give away door prizes or provide everyone with a small thank you gift. These trinkets should remind your team about the theme if possible. Who doesn’t love a good door prize?
  • Take pictures. When you’re planning the next training session, it helps to have photos of the fun times you’ve had together previously. Stir up some excitement with pictures of the team members during the activity session or snack time.

One more tip to remember: You should avoid “guilting” volunteers into coming. Celebrate those who do come without all the added pressure. After the event, administer the main children’s ministry tasks to the ones who do show up. Your team, at large, will get the picture, without all the added guilt.
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog at Tools for Kids Church.

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