What to include in your training event

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This weekend we had our annual Kids Ministry Volunteer Training Event.  Here’s what we did:

Promotion – Start months ahead with a few “save the date” emails.  Then 3 weeks before the event, send emails weekly, and get your leaders from each room to email their teams of volunteers.  Put posters of the event up in kids ministry spaces.  Get people to sign up online.

Theme – Choose a theme that is fun!  This year we went with a Transformers theme and focused on moving beyond Supervision (of kids) to Transformation (in their lives)

Set up – Have the room decorated, set up & stuff on people’s chairs like training manuals & chocolates when they arrive.  The first impression when they arrive will be a great one if you have everything ready to go & you pay attention to detail.

Food – Definitely include food.  It’s even better if you can get your food to match your theme!

Fun – Include a game or event that is just plain fun.  Because we had a transformers theme, 5 volunteers had to try to transform the transformer toy from a robot into a vehicle.  Game music & cheering help to bring energy to the game.

Prizes – Door prizes are a great way to go.  People love to win things.  Get as many as your budget will allow.  Ask for donations if you have a limited budget.

Have people talk other than you – We had a discussion panel of volunteers.  I sent them questions ahead of time so they were prepared with their answers.  It was so great to have them talk about stuff that I usually say.  It was very powerful coming from them.

Power Point & Video – Keep things visual whenever possible.  Media helps to keep people’s attention.  Video clips bring variety and can help drive your point home.  I used a video clip of Bill Hybels, “Coffee with God“.  It helped to illustrate about the life transformation that can happen when you spend time with God.

Motivation Talk – Remind people why we do what we do.  Tell stories.  Show videos.

Neighbour discussion – To help break up a longer time of “sit and listen”, have volunteers turn to their neighbour & tell each other one thing they just learned from what was just talked about.

Take Home – Have them write down (on a card that you make ahead of time) one thing they can do to improve what they are doing & tell them to take it home & put it in a place where they will see it on a regular basis to remind them.

Appreciation Video – a few weeks before the event get video footage of as many volunteers in action as possible.  Edit it together & add some music & play it at the end of your main session.

Breakout Groups – Give people a chance to chat about their own area of ministry with their team.  The last hour of our training event is spent in ministry specific groups all over our building.  They chat about things that are specific to where they serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the best gifts a leader can give to their team

There are some things that only the leader of a team can do.  Bill Hybels talks about the gift of ENERGY that a leader can give to their team & the difference it will make.  In this video he talks about going from feeling anxious & overwhelmed to feeling focused and energized on the leadership goals that were in front of him.

New Kids Music

music-notes

Are you looking for new kids songs?  Here is a list of names / groups that you can search in YouTube.  These videos would be applicable for different situations.  Some are great to use for teaching Bible verses, some are good for pre-service tunes & some are great to use during Kids Worship Time.  Each of the names listed below has several videos on YouTube so there’s lots to preview.

Go to YouTube, and search the following:

Nate Bristol – His songs have motions to go with them performed by NRUMC Kids.  Be sure to search both names on YouTube.

Seeds Family Worship also found at seedsfamilyworship.com

Jump Start 3 also found at jumpstart3.com

Ambersky Records also found at amberskyrecords.com

Shout Praises Kids also found at shoutpraiseskids.com

Go Fish Guys also found at gofishguys.com

Hillsong Kids also found at hillsong.com/kids

What other music videos do you use in your Kids Ministry?  Add your ideas to the comments section below.

How to build a great Kids Worship Team

KidsWorship

Do you have a Kids Worship Team at your church?  Do you want to start one?  Here are some ideas that will help your Kids Worship Team go from good to great!

#1.  It starts with the leader.  The Kids Worship Team Leader should love to worship God & see kids worshiping God.  It’s all about what comes from the heart, and it’s got to start with the leader.

#2.  Adult Helpers.  Have a team of adults who work with the leader.  The adults learn the songs with the kids & help lead them in the kids rooms.

#3.  Practice.  This should happen in a number of ways.  The team should get together a minimum of once a month to learn new songs, and work on current ones.  Have someone video tape these rehearsals and upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo so that everyone can review the actions/words to the songs at home.  Edit the settings on these videos so that only the team members are able to view them for practice purposes only.  Ask kids to practice the songs at home so that they know them really well when it is time to sing on stage.

#4.  Energy & Enthusiasm.  You may need to coach the kids on this one.  They may have to move out of their comfort zone to sing a little louder or do the actions with a little more enthusiasm.  Encourage them to give God their best!  If the adults & kids on stage are enthusiastic about singing, chances are that the kids in the audience will be too.  I also suggest showing the kids an example of a Kids Worship Team in action.  HillsongKids have great videos of kids worshiping.

#5.  T-shirts.  If you have Kids Ministry T-shirts, or Kids Worship T-shirts, get the kids to wear them!  It helps them feel like they are part of the team!

#6.  Keep it Simple.  As you look for new songs, look for songs that are not too complicated.  Lots of verses with lots of words are harder for kids to learn.

#7.  Make it Visual.  If possible, have the words on a screen for kids to read.  Even if the kids can’t read, the leaders in the room probably can, and they will appreciate having the words on the screen.  Put the words on a motion background, or use a Worship Video to add interest to the visual component.  WorshipHouseKids is loaded with options.

 

 

How to create volunteer training that people will want to come to

TrainingIf you want things to run smoothly in Kids Ministry, it’s probably a good idea to spend some time training your team of volunteers.  However, usually when you mention the word training, people’s schedules suddenly fill up quickly.  Here are some tips that can help you be successful at creating a training event that people will want to come to:

#1.  Value people’s time.  Limit the amount of events that you ask them to come to.  I hold an annual training event for all of my volunteers.  I strongly encourage them to attend, but that’s the only ‘training event’ that I ask them to attend all year.

#2.  Go Big or Go Home.  If you are going to take the time to put together a training event, then make it FUN!  – Choose a theme & run with it.  Pinterest has zillions of ideas on every theme possible.  It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  Cardboard, paint & paper can go a long way to make your decor look spectacular.  Door prizes are always fun for people because they like winning things.  Take home bags with some resources, notepaper, a pen & a few candies are another good idea to include.

#3.  Have a schedule and stick to it.  Include things like a main session, workshops, guest speakers, discussion panels & team building time.

#4.  Food.  You have to have food.  If possible get your food to match your theme.  Once again, visit Pinterest.

#5.  Make it motivational.  Somewhere in your schedule you need to include a motivational talk.  Remind people why they do what they do.  Remind them that they are making a difference.  Use stories &/or video to help illustrate this.

#6.  Make it practical.  Give people some ‘how-to’s’ and some ideas that they can implement in their roles.  Post cards with websites for more info, or a guest speaker, or a top 10 list are great ways to do this.

#7.  Give people a chance to talk.  The last thing you want to do is talk AT people the whole time.  Get them to turn to their neighbour and share one idea or story.  Do some round table discussion.  Give them time to get into groups of 3 or 4 to share ideas.

#8.  Help them discover action steps.  Be sure to include times throughout your event when they can pause and WRITE DOWN one thing they can do to improve what they do in Kids Ministry.

#9. Include a ‘more information’ option.  Some people might be willing to learn more!  Be sure to include some books, videos, websites & blog posts that might be beneficial to them if they want to learn more.

#10.  Celebrate the wins!  I love to include a video or slideshow of the volunteers in action.  It helps people see that they are not alone and there is a whole team of people who are serving along with them.  Be sure to take lots of video clips & pics in the weeks leading up to your event so you can catch your current volunteers in action!  Add some funky music & you have a celebration presentation!!