One of the [many] keys to successfully keeping volunteer leaders involved in ministry with children and families is appropriate training. First, we INSPIRE them to serve. Then we EQUIP them to lead. Lastly, we DEVELOP leaders (I am still learning how to do the last one well!)
Here is how we set our volunteer leaders up for success in Quest Kids:
ONE on ONE Meeting with Pastor or Director- 30-60 minutes
They are a person first, and we just want to be in relationship and know one another. This takes a lot of time, but is well-worth the investment.
NEW LEADER ORIENTATION- 1 hour
Leader Orientation is a one hour meeting to review the Leader Handbook with all new volunteers. This is a required training for all leaders, but if someone absolutely cannot make it to an evening or Sunday training, we send the handbook home with them and have them return a “Read Receipt”.
It is a great idea to let a new leader shadow in a specific classroom or age group before they commit to it. Also, pairing them with a seasoned ministry leader is a good idea if you can. We have created a simple, one page leader guide for each of our classrooms that reminds leaders of their roles (i.e. diaper changing, prepping/serving snacks, where to access the volunteer schedule or Bible lessons, and Sunday morning schedule, etc.). This ensures all leaders are getting the same information as they begin serving with a specific age group.
KEEPING KIDS SAFE WORKSHOP - 3 hours
Keeping Kids Safe is our Child Abuse Prevention and Safety Training offered several times each year. This is a required training for all KidMin leaders, done at their earliest convenience (within first year of volunteering). KKS dates are announced several months in advance of the training.
ALL LEADER GATHERING- 90-120 minutes
Once every 12-18 months we hold an all leader gathering for visioning, prayer, and encouragement of our Quest Kids Team. All KidMin leaders are strongly encouraged to attend this event.