How to Educate and Train Volunteers on the Curriculum You are Using

Church volunteers are the backbone of any kids' ministry, but having a hardworking team is only half of the story. Providing your workers with adequate training will have a massive impact on how effective the Sunday school lessons will be. Kids can sense how confident your team is, and it will have a big impact on how powerful the classes are.

Grant Glas
March 21, 2022
Kids Ministry Curriculum

By equipping your volunteers with the appropriate tools they need to share the children’s ministry curriculum, each child will receive the same education as the next. It is difficult to ensure everyone gets the same learning experience, but church volunteer training will help!

Unsure how to get started with a church volunteer program? You have come to the right place. Read on to learn more about how you can create a successful volunteer training plan, and level up the quality of your volunteers and ministry.

Strong orientation process

Team orientation

When you have a big sign-up session of new volunteers, it is easier to host a strong orientation process, as it is more worth it to dedicate the resources to bringing everyone on board. So, make it known that you are looking for more volunteers to maximize your sign-up.

Then, invite everyone to an orientation meeting that clearly outlines volunteer roles and responsibilities. Be sure to share your overarching vision for the ministry too. One of the most typical complaints of new volunteers is feeling lost and without direction, so make sure you provide them with a clear outline during that first meeting.

Assign everyone a team leader

Team leader walking with laptop

New volunteers will probably have questions and queries, and assigning everyone a team leader will let them know where to direct them. Don’t leave your new church workers feeling overwhelmed by the workload. Offer them an outlet where they can seek support and advice.

Ensuring your team leaders are also fully equipped to lead small groups is key. Why not arrange a training session for the team leaders with clear guidelines of what you expect of them in this role? Try using some of these job descriptions to make each person’s responsibilities as clear and concise as possible. 

Allow a period of shadowing

Volunteer taking notes from team leader

Before the volunteers can lead small groups on their own, let them watch someone more experienced to show them how it’s done. Though you may not have the resources to do this for extended periods of time, giving them just one or two sessions with someone more experienced will boost the quality of their future classes.

Intentional apprenticeship methods like this help your new volunteers to gain the skills they need to flourish in their role. Pairing each newbie with a ministry veteran will show them exactly what they need to do firsthand. Passing the torch from one volunteer to the next will ensure your kidmin volunteers are up to scratch.

Use frequent feedback sessions

One-on-one feedback session

Checking in with your volunteers throughout their training period will help them to see how they are doing, highlight ways they can improve, and address any issues they may have. Set a specific timeframe of around three to six months so your volunteers can expect a review session and be prepared.

Throughout their trial period, be sure to check in frequently to let them know what they are doing well and what they need to improve. Plus, as they have a fresh set of eyes and an outsider perspective, their feedback could be very helpful. Take into consideration their suggestions for ways you can improve the day-to-day running of your kids' ministry. 

Provide training opportunities

Group of women learning the curriculum

We should always seek to better ourselves and refine our abilities, so why not provide training opportunities for all of your volunteers? When you properly plan these sessions, they will be repeatable time and time again, so every new influx of volunteers can receive a similar experience.

Take some time to consider what kind of training you would like to offer your volunteers. Will these sessions be open to all, or by invitation only? How will you follow up with your attendees after the session has taken place? Consider these elements and store the data in a central location so you can repeat the training with ease.

Align the training with your curriculum

Group having fun learning the curriculum

Each church is different, as is every curriculum. So, make sure your training properly blends with the curriculum you plan to teach so that your volunteers know exactly what to expect. There is no one cookie-cutter training program for volunteers for this reason — every ministry is different.

Wading through the countless different options when choosing a curriculum can be challenging. Whether you want total freedom by creating your own strategy or prefer to go for a tried and tested curriculum designed by experts, you can find something that works for you and your ministry. 

Don't worry – there is an affordable and appropriate solution out there for you, whatever size your church may be. If you are struggling with the decision-making process, check out this list of our top curriculum picks. The right curriculum led by enthusiastic and well-trained volunteers will make your ministry unstoppable!

Why not take the time to reassess your volunteer training processes today? Your children’s ministry volunteers will be much happier and more effective when given thorough training and the resources needed to thrive. Deciding how to train children’s ministry volunteers will vary from church to church, but following these guidelines is a great starting point. Great leaders come from great leadership, so level up your team by successfully leading the way.

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