Getting Ready for the Fall:Volunteer Training

Want more volunteers? Need volunteers to stay active? There are two, low maintenance ways to guarantee your “yes” answer will be fulfilled. They both are simple and take little time, but prove extremely effective to achieving volunteers that are active and stay active.

The first is training. Having a training workshop will give volunteers confidence, encourage the fearful to volunteer, and strengthen every program. I have one day in August, before the start of our program year and do all the training that day. I do a check-in training update in January. The Fall training workshop is done on a Saturday, so everyone can come. I have lots of food and drink. The first group has bagels and fruit waiting for them. Lunch is delivered for two groups to enjoy. Afternoon snack of cookies and tea are waiting for the last group.

I group the workshops by ministry, dividing the Christian Formation Sunday Morning into age groups (3 years – Kindergarten, then Elementary, Youth.) I, also, do a Children’s Chapel training, Event Leader workshop, and Ministry Leader training. All involved, even returning volunteers, are encouraged to attend. All scheduling and assignments are done in this workshop by those involved. Rooms and supplies are set up. This is an important day and will make the program year run smoothly.

Covered in each workshop group is:
general information about expectations of time, space, and where to find things they might need,
money and budget issues,
developmental expections of the age they are working with, including spiritual and faith,
Curriculum, including a demonstration,
Issues or problems they might encounter
Specifics of their ministry
The groups, then, begin work on schedules, class space, and forming teams. I am in the general area for this part, but only for questions.

If you would like to get a specific copy of a ministry or development expectations by a certain age, there is a small fee. Send an email to and I will let you know what is available and the cost.

The second thing I do for volunteers is use every holiday as a time to express thank you. I give every volunteer a small printed thank you with a small gift, which usually is a piece of candy. At Christmas, I give an ornament and at the end of the program year, a nice thank you gift. As the year progresses, I will share what I do for volunteers by coming holiday.

Do not forget Safe Church Training! This is vital for all ministries.

Trained volunteers are happy volunteers!