This post is part of a series on 7 Keys to an Effective Volunteer Training System.
The best way to have strong participation in volunteer trainings is to make the events themselves have a “can’t miss” feel to them. It’s easy to talk about, but hard to create.
Encourage & Support
Everyone wants to feel encouraged and supported. Ministry is hard, and we think we’re encouraging our team enough, we can always do more. One part of supporting volunteers at trainings is to provide helpful content. We can also encourage by sharing stories of “wins” and give them a glimpse of the stories we hear (and should actively collect). Training events are a great time to appreciate volunteers as well. Here’s a link to 100 Almost Free Ways to Appreciate Volunteers.
Who doesn’t like to have fun? Different people define fun differently (particularly introverts and extroverts), but it’s important to have as much fun as you can any time you gather volunteers. Play games, give away prizes, create funny awards to give out, play a funny video, whatever you can come up with to help people laugh and have a good time.
Share Important Information
We ask some important questions whenever we’re communicating something important. Two of them are:
Who needs to know this?
When do they need to know this?
In most situations you want to communicate important information through specific channels, going from most invested people to everyone during a service. Sharing important information at a volunteer training (before it’s public) helps create the “can’t miss” feel you’re looking for. People love to be “in the know”, and serving earns them the right to hear about things before everyone else does.
Nothing helps people stick like relationships. Hopefully our volunteers have that relational connection on the teams they serve on. But, the reality of ministry is that many positions are so focused on kids and students there is hardly any time to connect with other leaders. Training events can and should provide some time for those connections to happen.
I hope your training events have a can’t “miss feel” to them and it leads people to show up in droves. I also hope you’ll share some tips for how you train volunteers.