5 Essentials for Your Volunteers #5 – Give Them Resources!

Lynda Freeman —  February 1, 2012

There certainly are a lot of things we need to give our volunteers, but for the next few weeks, I’m going to share my top five essentials for us to give our volunteers. Today let’s think about the #5 essential thing for us to give our volunteers . . . give them resources!

When we ask someone to volunteer their time, energy and self to serve in our children’s ministry, we need to be sure we are not also asking them to come up with the resources they will need to serve. Be sure you provide each of the following things for your volunteers . . .

  • Curriculum – this may seem like a “no-brainer”, but there are churches where volunteers need to find and buy their own curriculum. There are of course several reasons you want to provide curriculum;  first of course being if you provide the curriculum you can be sure of the scope and sequence, the specifics the children will be learning and can be sure they match up with the vision and goals for your children’s ministry as well as the doctrine of your church.
  • Craft supplies, materials for object lessons . . . everything a volunteer needs to serve. If you want your volunteers to engage the children in the activities each week, you need to give them the things the need to do this. You may have volunteers – or people who otherwise would be willing to serve – who can not afford to buy these types of things.
  • Bibles – if the children in your church do not have their own Bibles, be sure to have classroom Bibles – consider presenting children with their own Bibles, but be sure they first of all are able to use Bibles in the classroom.
  • Snacks and or treats if you want children to have these things. Ask your volunteers to show restraint in bringing extras to their class as this allows all your volunteers to serve on “equal footing”. If one volunteer is able to buy extras while another is not, children are likely to notice and may think their volunteer isn’t as “good”.
  • But in addition to this, you need to provide the resources because if volunteers have to find and purchase their own resources, you may have people who would otherwise serve, but do not because they can not afford to buy the resources themselves.

These are some of the resources we need to provide for the volunteers who serve in our ministries. What resources do you provide for your volunteers? Next week I’ll look at the #4 essential thing for us to give our volunteers . . . training!

Lynda Freeman

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Lynda has been married to Dave for 30 years . . . they met on a volcano in Northern California! Lynda took one look at Dave and thought, “We will get married!” And so they did! They have two grown children, Tiffany (26) and Dave (25), a daughter-in-law, Jackie (26) and two grandsons; Josiah (3) and the newly arrived Caleb – they are the delight of her life! Lynda lives in West Michigan and has served in children’s ministry for 40 years . . . she started with a Wednesday night class for four year olds when she was 10 . . . and has led ministries in churches with 100 people, 1600 people and several in-between. Children’s ministry is the passion of Lynda’s heart – she wants volunteers to love serving and children to love being there so they can learn to know and walk with Jesus all their lives! Lynda worked as a consultant for Gospel Light, Group and Zonderkidz/Big Idea/Willow Creek and worked as the Church Resource Consultant for Kregel Bookstores for 13 years providing training and answering questions for churches throughout West Michigan. She has written for Children’s Ministry Magazine and Your Church Magazine, wrote some of the preschool lessons for Big Idea’s VeggieConnections curriculum, was a contributing author for Group’s Humongous Book of Bible Skits for Children’s Ministry and wrote the Connections to Christ portion of the Manners that Matter curriculum from Maralee McKee. Eight years ago Lynda was diagnosed with MS, Lupus and a few other auto-immune illnesses and can no longer work “hands-on” with children . . . the stairs at her church are best avoided. However, Lynda consults with and advises her church and writes their curriculum, kidz Connection. She also writes a blog – About the Children’s Department - and is developing a series of children’s books and a resource on praying the Scripture! For fun, Lynda writes a blog for grandmas- grandma’s cookie jar (www.grandmascookiejar.net ) . . . well, grandpas, moms and dads are welcome to read it, too! You will find her on Twitter, Facebook and CM Connect .

3 responses to 5 Essentials for Your Volunteers #5 – Give Them Resources!

  1. Great list! The only one I might slightly disagree with is about snacks. We did set some guidelines, but mostly because of allergies. And we did provide snacks for preschool & nursery (and for Elementary kids who stay 2 services).

    But when teachers want to bring extra stuff (cookies, donuts, etc), we almost always say “Yes!” I know it could make other kids jealous, but it sure does add a lot of energy and excitement for those kids in that small gorup.

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