Training Topics Not To Miss

Trained volunteers are effective volunteers

by Mark Entzminger/ April 8, 2016

There are some topics in children’s ministry that are commonly accepted practices. These would include how to discipline, how to communicate with specific ages, etc. But there are some training topics to consider that may not be a normal part of your process.

  1. Safety: How frequently do you cover training elements with your leaders so they know what to do in the event of inclement weather, fire, or unauthorized persons engaging with kids? Consider having the Red Cross train teachers in basic first-aid practices.
  2. Reflective Listening: Training people how to use curriculum and teach age-appropriate content is common. However, the art of listening and reflecting back to the class (more importantly, the speaker) what was communicated is a skill that can reap large benefits.
  3. Gender Differences: I’ve seen churches provide training on the different age-appropriate levels of learning as well as give understanding of learning styles. However, gender also plays a significant role in helping kids receive what is being taught. Each gender has a unique preference in how they learn and respond to content. If we are not intentional in training our leaders, we may unknowingly frustrate the learning of boys or girls. To see an example of this training, download our document on Capturing the Hearts of Boys and Girls.
  4. Why We Do What We Do: It’s one thing to teach people how to present an object lesson or a game that reinforces the verse. But don’t miss the importance of sharing the why behind the what. Replicating an activity without knowing the why can lead to mission drift and weakened effectiveness.
  5. Injuries: It’s only a matter of time before someone gets a skinned knee, there’s an instance of biting, or possibly something worse. Knowing the process approved by your church leadership and insurance company is essential. This must also be something that is trained to the leaders within the ministry.
  6. Special Situations: There will always be things that happen outside our control and training. Be sure to acknowledge these times as a reality that leaders will face, but give them a framework for what to do. Equip them to know who should they notify, complete the appropriate safety report, how to respond to parents, etc. 

Training is an ongoing process, and there will always be topics that arise that need to be communicated. Keep a list of elements to train in, and begin to fill them as part of a library of topics. Once the training has been developed, it can easily be passed along to a new leader.