I just returned from Benton, Louisiana where I led some workshops for the preschool department of Cypress Baptist Church. I spend many of my weekends providing training for volunteers who have a heart for reaching kids for the Kingdom, BUT this event was unique. I want to share just a little about the way they did this, because they stepped out of the conventional training model. Maybe this will inspire you to do something “different” when training your volunteers.
It’s a long-standing tradition at Cypress Baptist to kick off each year with training for leaders—preschool, elementary, youth, and adult—who work in Christian Education. The first week of the year it’s on the calendar! Isn’t that a great thought? You’ve come off this hurried time of Christmas … you’re re-evaluating the coming year … you’re ready to kick it in gear, but not sure where to start … and the church steps up to invest in its volunteers and provide them with motivation and ideas. It’s like the church is saying, “Put this at the top of your resolutions and we’ll help you.”
It’s on a Friday night … really! All four age-group volunteers come together for dinner and then leave to get age-appropriate training. But get this: It wasn’t over until 10:00. And, I was told that was early! In the past, they had gone to 11:30 and then shared breakfast together until midnight—a breakfast prepared by their senior pastor. This church found something unique that worked for them and each year they saw the benefits as more people were being taught the Word of God.
As I thought about just these little changes Cypress Baptist made, my mind shifted into high gear entertaining all kinds of ideas that would give just a little twist to children’s ministry training. Noting what others are doing and allowing it to inspire you produces motivation. So, look around. Talk with others who are doing ministry. Listen to their ideas and let them inspire you to do something that fits where you are.