Developing Volunteers with Limited Time

Take advantage of technology

by Adam Lawley/ April 5, 2016

“Can’t make it!”

“I’m too busy this week, work has been crazy!”

“Sorry, I have a previous engagement.”

These are a few of the dreaded phrases that we’ve all heard before when it comes to volunteer training. In a culture that seems to get busier and busier as each day passes, time is precious. A.W. Tozer once said, “When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection.” Time is not something that we are able to get back, so we must treat it like a commodity.

This presents a dilemma for many ministry leaders, “How can we prepare our volunteers who have limited and precious time?” We simply cannot bypass training and hope that they figure it out. Strong volunteer teams are the backbone of a successful children’s ministry.

Meet Them Where They Are

A possible solution to the dilemma is to meet our volunteers where they can be met. Today, more than ever, we can connect through a variety of options, e.g. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Face Time, Video Chats, and other social media. We have the ability to utilize these platforms to their fullest potential. Meeting our volunteers where they are allows us to develop leaders in a busy world. When utilizing these tools for training, remember that every second counts, so try to be concise and fun! 

What Format?


Instead of having a bi-monthly meeting, send out bi-monthly videos that possess training content. This format contains the ability to be scripted and carefully prepared. This may seem daunting, but the process can begin with a simple push of a button on a smart phone.

Video Chat

Rather than a one-on-one meeting prior to a church service, have a video chat with a volunteer during the week. In these video chats you have the ability to be personal, as well as receive live questions.

Customize It

You know what works best for your volunteers. Training can take place with volunteers through email, volunteer-specific social media profiles, or even a private Facebook group. Have fun and make it your own! Allow your vision to spread beyond Sunday mornings.

How to Implement Content? 

Celebrate Wins

Take time to encourage your team, mention all that is successful. Include a story or testimony of what God is doing in the lives of the children. 


Let them know how treasured they are to the church’s ministry. Thank them!

Be Practical

Provide training that is memorable and able to be practically applied. Discuss policies, conversation starters, or potential ministry opportunities.


As the leader of the ministry, you are able to cast the vision. Take advantage of this time, challenge the volunteers to take ownership of the ministry and the vision.

What are some of the various formats that you have used for training?