Volunteer Training

Volunteer Handbook with Editable Files $9.99

Volunteer Handbook with Editable Files

Volunteer Handbook with Editable Files

Created by Kenny and Elle Campbell of Stuff You Can Use | Youth Ministry Resources.

FILE TYPES: Editable in Microsoft Word and Pages, plus a PDF to view our finished product.

Every year, we create a new Volunteer Handbook – a guide to our ministry philosophy, the strategy to make it all happen, and the specific roles and expectations of the volunteers on our team. You may have seen the 2011-2012 Volunteer Handbook, but this year’s version is better than ever, with new and better content, a simpler layout, and everything now editable in Pages and Microsoft Word.

This Handbook is more than just a template, though you could use it that way if you’d like – it’s already filled with the actual materials that we use to train the volunteers in our ministry. Everything we’ve included in the Handbook is designed to be easily transferrable to your ministry – or at least to give you a great starting point as you adjust it to fit your needs.

Here’s a quick run-through of the contents of the brand new SHINE! Volunteer Handbook, which is divided into 3 sections…

1. THE BASICS: 

The foundation of our ministry philosophy, our strategy, and why we do what we do.

  • Our Staff. A page for introducing your team and welcoming new volunteers.
  • Our “Big Win”: Defining success for our ministry – what it looks like and how we hope to achieve it.
  • Owning their Faith. The first part of our “Big Win” is helping students begin to own their faith – we explain what that looks like and how we hope to make it happen.
  • Joining God on Mission. This is the second part of our “Big Win” – seeing students begin to think missionally and share the Gospel with their words and actions.
  • DisciplingWe’re not here to babysit – we want to see our students become better followers of Jesus. This page explains what discipleship is (and what it is not), and what it means for our ministry.
  • Partnering with Parents. Parents are always going to be the primary influencers and disciplers of their own children. We need them, and they need us.
  • Our Ministry Environments. A brief look at the different types of environments we create for students, why each of them exist, and what each one accomplishes.

2. SPECIFIC TRAINING FOR ALL OF YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLES

  • SMALL GROUP LEADERS. The “Small Group Leader” section of the Handbook will give your Small Group Leaders a simple, but thorough, look at their roles. We clarify “the win” for Small Group Leaders. We define the qualifications and expectations of a Small Group Leader, and we give 7 “How-To’s” for leading a small group well.
  • GREETER TEAM, CAFE TEAM, AND BAND. We’ve provided a page dedicated to each of these volunteer roles, with “the win,” qualifications, and expectations clarified for each. 

3. A FEW MORE THINGS:

  • Practice Boundaries. How to maintain healthy boundaries with students and our church guidelines for appropriate conduct with students.
  • Code of Conduct. Our policies for volunteer conduct – includes work ethic, kindness toward others, and the specific moral expectations to which we will hold them accountable.
  • Yearly Commitments. A statement to be signed and returned to us, stating that they have read and understood all the stuff in the Volunteer Handbook and are ready to start serving! We’ve included one for Small Group Leaders and one for all other volunteer roles (since the role of a Small Group Leader is very unique and has some different expectations).

We review the year’s Handbook in depth (usually over some Starbucks) with every new volunteer that we add to our team, and we also refer to it in many of our training meetings throughout the year. It’s been a super helpful and valuable resource for us, both in organizing our own vision and priorities, and in communicating them to our volunteers. We have an incredible team of volunteers who understand and buy into our vision and strategy – and this Volunteer Handbook has been an essential tool in helping us develop and train them.

Additional Description More Details

A handbook for your volunteers to help you cast vision, explain strategy, and communicate everything you need your volunteers to know. Includes editable Word and Pages files along with the PDF.

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Price: $9.99

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Volunteer Handbook with Editable Files

$9.99
A handbook for your volunteers to help you cast vision, explain strategy, and communicate everything you need your volunteers to know. Includes editable Word and Pages files along with the PDF.
1-Year Volunteer Training Strategy $Free

1-Year Volunteer Training Strategy

1-Year Volunteer Training Strategy


Created by Kenny and Elle Campbell of SHINE! Middle School Ministry of The Chapel at CrossPoint in Getzville, NY.

FILE TYPES: Editable in Microsoft Word and Pages, plus PDFs to view our finished products and meeting recaps.

If you’ve checked out any of our resources before, you probably have picked up on the fact that small groups really are the backbone of our ministry. Small groups (and, specifically, Small Group Leaders) are our primary means of discipleship, spiritual formation, community, and partnering with parents. So basically, they’re really important. And because small groups are so important, it’s absolutely essential that our Small Group Leaders are trained, equipped, and encouraged incredibly well. If we fail in our efforts to train our Small Group Leaders, well… it would be a problem.

So today we’re going to give you a look at what we’re currently doing to train our Small Group Leaders. We’re always tweaking what we do but, right now, we’re loving the system we have going.  And since we love it so much, we wanted to share it in the hopes that you’ll find something you love and can use….

There are 4 components of our Small Group Leader training strategy. There’s a ton of information here (a whole year’s worth, to be exact), so you might want to take a peek at the 1-Year Sample Schedule we provided in the download – it will help you see how all 4 of these elements come together in a typical year.

#1 – THE VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK

We’ve written an entire post dedicated just to the Volunteer Handbook, so we won’t go into a ton of detail here. If you’re interested in learning more about the Handbook specifically, check out that link.


#2 – WEEKLY INVESTMENTS

  • WEEKLY CHECK-IN’S. Every week, we (well, specifically Elle, since she’s our Small Groups and Volunteer person) make it a point to personally connect with a few of our Small Group Leaders to specifically ask how things are going. Whether it’s an e-mail or a face-to-face conversation, these check-in’s are essential in keeping the lines of communication open. They give both our staff and our Small Group Leaders opportunities to ask questions, express concerns, and ask for feedback. These check-in’s have helped our Small Group Leaders because they are a reminder that there is always a standing invitation to give us feedback or ask for help. And these check-in’s have also helped us our staff because they are opportunities for us, if necessary, to address any issues or concerns we might have with a Small Group Leader (maybe a question with their performance or judgment) naturally and casually.

 

#3 – LARGE GROUP MEETINGS

We meet with all of our Small Group Leaders in a large group meeting every other month - so that’s a total of 6 times every year. We do two different kinds of large-group meetings…

  • MEETINGS. Four of our six meetings are simple Small Group Leader Meetings on Sunday afternoons immediately following our weekly services. They’re casual, quick, convenient for our volunteers’ schedules, and always include an awesome lunch. (By the way, great food is an easy way to say that you appreciate your team, and it’s also a great incentive for getting people to show up. We also invite spouses and kids to make it as easy as possible for our volunteers to be there.) At these meetings, we simply touch base with our team, announce anything upcoming and important, and give them a short word of encouragement or a challenge. Specifically, we almost always use these meetings to recap our current list of Small Group Leader Goals and check in on our Small Group Leaders’ progress (if you’d like more information about those Goals, we’ve included it in today’s download, and we’ve also done an entire post about it right here). Quick, simple, easy – but really effective for getting and keeping our team on the same page and showing that we value their hard work.
  • RETREATS. Now the other 2 meetings we do each year are a little more intense. Twice a year, we get our Small Group Leaders together for Small Group Leader Retreats in August and February, where we spend an entire morning vision-casting, training, discussing, and recapping our goals and expectations for our team. These have been super effective for us and we’ve received great feedback from our team about the format and content of what we’ve done this year. In the download, we’ve included an event guide for our most recent Volunteer Retreat, including a detailed schedule and all the resources you’ll need to replicate it.

 

#4 – COFFEE TALKS

The final aspect of our Small Group Leader training strategy might be our favorite. Because we have a team of around 70 Small Group Leaders, it can be really easy for volunteers to feel a little lost in the crowd if we’re not careful. So to prevent that from happening, every school year, we make it a point to get our Small Group Leaders together in smaller, more personal groups, where we can connect in a more intimate setting.

Unlike our large group meetings, which are focused on our staff providing training and teaching, Coffee Talks are entirely based on conversation and feedback from our volunteers. Our staff simply poses some strategic questions, and then we turn it over to our Small Group Leaders. They share with us what’s working and what’s not working so well. They voice their concerns and ask questions. They brainstorm and creatively problem-solve together. They tell us how our staff can make their jobs easier.

We recognize that our Small Group Leaders have a ton of wisdom, experience, and insight – and our entire team can benefit from it! But at some point, we also realized that, first, our staff needed to give them the platform and opportunity to share those things. One of the beautiful things about these Coffee Talks is the fact that they communicate how much our staff trusts and values what our Small Group Leaders have to say. They’re a tangible reminder that our Small Group Leaders aren’t simply warm bodies that we recruited to fill a need – they are valued, integral members of our team.


Here’s what we’ve included in this download…

  • A sample 1-Year Schedule (August – July) of our Small Group Leader Training plan.
  • LARGE GROUP MEETINGS: An Event Guide for our most recent Small Group Leader Retreat. A schedule, detailed notes, and all of the editable handouts from our most recent Retreat, as well as a recap of the actual conversations we had with our Small Group Leaders at that Retreat (includes all of our team’s thoughts, ideas, and suggestions).
  • COFEE TALKS: An Event Guide, flyer, and a recap of the actual conversation from one of our recent Coffee Talks (includes the discussion questions and our team’s thoughts, ideas, and suggestions).

Stuff You Can Use - Youth Ministry Resources

Additional Description More Details

A 1-year strategy for training small group leaders. Includes training materials, schedules, promotional design elements, and an overview of our complete training strategy. Includes editable Word, Pages, and PDF files.

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Price: $0.00

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1-Year Volunteer Training Strategy

Free
A 1-year strategy for training small group leaders. Includes training materials, schedules, promotional design elements, and an overview of our complete training strategy. Includes editable Word, Pages, and PDF files.
Small Group Leader Goals Editable Page $Free

Small Group Leader Goals Editable Page

Small Group Leader Goals Editable Page

Created by Kenny and Elle Campbell of SHINE! Middle School Ministry of The Chapel at CrossPoint in Getzville, NY.

FILE TYPES: Editable in Microsoft Word and Pages, plus a PDF to view our finished product.

We’ve found that a great way to help our Small Group Leaders stay focused and effective in ministry is to give them a handful of reachable and measurable goals. We narrowed down all of our hopes and expectations for our Small Group Leaders into 6 goals, which we ask them to complete every semester. And if they do, they get a nice little reward…

So here’s what we’re looking at…

THE GOALS:

  1. SEND POSTCARDS. We always keep stacks of postcards on hand for our Small Group Leaders to use. We’re constantly encouraging and reminding them to take advantage of those postcards to send their students quick little notes – maybe for their birthdays, if they haven’t seen them in a while, or just to say hi. We hear all the time from parents who say that postcards from their kids’ Small Group Leaders are hung on refrigerators, tacked to bulletin boards, or displayed in their kids’ rooms. When our Small Group Leaders write a stack of postcards for their students, all they need to do is hand them to someone on our staff – we pay the postage and put them in the mail the following day.
  2. HAVE A PARTY. Small Group Leaders investing in their students outside of church is a big deal for us. An easy way to do that is by having a small group party! We recommend 1 or 2 parties each semester. We help our Small Group Leaders make these parties happen by creating their flyers, providing supplies whenever possible (like Nerf guns, games, snacks, or time in our building), and also giving them a monthly budget to help cover their costs.
  3. CONNECT WITH PARENTS. Each semester, we want our Small Group Leaders to be conscious of what they are doing to actively connect with the parents of their students. So whether that’s through parent e-mails, a parent-hangout, or even just briefly touching base in person, we want our Small Group Leaders to always keep partnering with parents in mind.
  4. COME TO THE PARENT EVENT. In addition to what our Small Group Leaders are doing on their own to connect with parents, each semester we also host an event specifically designed for Small Group Leaders and parents to connect. Now that we have several of these events under our belt, our Small Group Leaders know that their participation in these events is super important because they’re one of the few times they can get so many of their students’ parents together in the same room.
  5. TEACH A FAITH SKILL. Although we’d love for our Small Group Leaders to be able to help their students learn one of the 5 Faith Skills every month, we know that’s probably not possible with everything else they’re trying to do. So we simplified it by encouraging them to choose just one Faith Skill sometime during the semester and do it really well.
  6. HANG OUT ON A KID’S TURF. We put a huge emphasis on connecting with students and families outside of church. But one of the ways a Small Group Leader can make a HUGE impact with a relatively simple gesture is by showing up somewhere that is meaningful to their students. Maybe it’s their big game, or their dance recital, or their birthday or graduation. Whatever it is, we encourage our Small Group Leaders to keep their eyes open for opportunities to show up on a kid’s turf – it communicates immense value and builds incredible influence!

When our Small Group Leaders are finished with all of their goals, they send us an email telling us what they accomplished. We love hearing the stories of how their parties went, how they’re creatively connecting with students and parents, and what they’re doing to better disciple their students. These emails are also a great way for us to get ideas about what is and isn’t working so we can communicate that to the rest of our Small Group Leader team.

At the end of each semester, we gather up all the names and emails of our Small Group Leaders who completed their goals and we buy them gift cards. These prizes work as a great incentive to complete these goals but, more importantly, it’s also a “thank you” for all of the hard work and energy that we know our Small Group Leaders put into their students. So while a few bucks on a Starbucks card can’t really compare to the effort it takes our Small Group Leaders to make these goals happen, it at least demonstrates that we value them and all of their hard work.

Stuff You Can Use - Youth Ministry Resources

Additional Description More Details

A template to use for communicating goals to small group leaders. Includes editable Word, Pages, and PDF files.

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pvc_views: 1620

Price: $0.00

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Small Group Leader Goals Editable Page

Free
A template to use for communicating goals to small group leaders. Includes editable Word, Pages, and PDF files.