What I Believe About Training Volunteers [Volunteer Training Saturation]

What I Believe About Training Volunteers [Volunteer Training Saturation]


The longer I serve the Lord in children’s ministry, the more I believe the training of volunteers is pure discipleship, and needs to be fresh and new.

Maybe you will find just one new idea in the next series of blogs targeted to volunteer training. Or maybe you will pick up several ideas. Either way, although these blogs are specifically written for those of us on the front lines of children’s ministry, these concepts can be used in any organization that provides volunteer opportunities and I’m thankful for the opportunity to share them with you.

Each week there will be a video with different ways I train, and each week I will post more Quick Trains. Watch the videos and you will find out what those are.

My thoughts and experiences have been gathered in seasons of plenty (when we were scheduling 200 volunteers a weekend) and in seasons of need (scheduling 180 but only 135 would show). Yes, I have seen it all.

Here’s a little bit about how I think. It may be a little unconventional for you. I hope you’ll overlook all that and find something that the Lord taught me, and you won’t have to make the same mistakes I did.

I have come to believe that everyone is “in business”. Are you a stay at home mom? You are in business. Are you a part time compassion ministry administrative assistant? You are in business. Are you a full time educator? You are in business.

Everyone is in business and all business is … people.

I hear people rumbling “that’s too business focused.” And I would respond, “It’s probably not the business part that bothers you, but the lack of people business that makes it feel wrong.”

Everything is business and all business is people.

A long time ago, I learned a tough lesson. I learned it the hard way. I think about it nearly every week. I used people to get done what I needed. And then God changed my heart.

God gave me His supernatural love for people. (That’s a whole other story.) Through this supernatural love, I learned that by providing serving opportunities for volunteers, I am actually equipping them individually for the work of ministry and discipling them in their walk with Christ. Even this morning as I was reading again the beautiful book of 1 Peter, God’s Word cut my heart, reminding me of the days when I was so different. “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart …” (1 Peter 1:22)

Guess what? Equipped saints equip other saints. Volunteers that “run the play” model that to other volunteers. Volunteers that work hard model hard work to other volunteers. What a beautiful thing to watch volunteers actually leading other volunteers because of the clarity set for them.

It is truly miraculous that when we do the work of ministry, it is our hearts that are changed more than the people we are called to shepherd. I am so thankful that I am a different person because of the living Word of God.

When I start with the questions, “How will this help people grow in their walk with Christ? How can serving be an act of love from a pure heart to my spiritual family?” rather than demand “I have to staff the three-year-old classroom,” my focus goes to a person’s heart and not my need. This is biblical leadership.

I hope you find this next series of posts and videos helpful – a blessing. I will also link editable PDFs of my formal training documents called Quick Train. I will explain how to use Quick Trains in a few weeks. Check each blog in this series for new downloadable, free training.

Quick Train:
Grade School Classroom Volunteer
Preschool Classroom Volunteer

Learn from my mistakes, please. Let’s start with clear expectations. Everyone loves that.