this blog, we talk a lot about kids: who they are, how to best
connect with them, their needs, and their wants. We have also
talked about parents: how to equip them, and how to help them
during difficult discussions. But there's one group of people your
ministry can help that you may be missing- and they are currently
in your church!
Who is this group of people, you ask? Before we answer that
question, here are some interesting facts about this particular
group. According to research by the Search
Institute, only 38 percent of the people in this group know and
understand the Bible, while 39 percent know how religious faith
forms and develops. And only 30 percent understand their
denomination's theology and tradition.
Have you figured out who your ministry might be missing?
Believe it or not, these statistics refer to ministry teachers
and volunteers. Besides not being equipped spiritually, only "32
percent of children's volunteers express a mature faith
characterized by a life-transforming relationship with God and a
consistent devotion to serving others," according to the Search
We talk a lot about outreach, and for good reason- it's very
important. But what about "inreach"? How well are you making sure
your team is mentally equipped and spiritually fed? Fully 8 out of
10 children's workers said they would be interested in learning
more about the Bible. We have people under our care who are craving
more spiritual growth.
The good news is that you may already be taking the steps you
need to help give your volunteers a spiritual boost. If you need
some inspiration, here are seven simple ideas!
1.Meaningful Meetings-You likely already have
regular meetings with your team. Make sure to include time for
2.Required Reading-On average, a children's
volunteer, when alone, will only open his or her Bible once or
twice a month. Ask interested team members if they want to read the
Bible together in a year or two.
3.Handy Handouts-If you are anything like me,
you have a handout for your volunteers at every meeting to help
keep your team aware of upcoming events and schedule changes.
Include a short devotion on your handouts!
4.Facebook Fellowship-You may have a Facebook
group for your team. Encourage teachers and volunteers to post God
sightings, which are times throughout the day when they see God
working in their lives.
5.Tag Team-It's easy to rely on the same
volunteers repeatedly, but you could be taking them away from the
service or class that could recharge and reenergize them. Make sure
to swap out your volunteers and give opportunities to be taught
rather than to teach.
6.Godly Gifts-We are always looking for ways to
thank our volunteers. Finding a good devotional that is personally
relevant for each volunteer may take some time, but your team will
be more likely to read it. Or, do something creative. Give a
calendar with Bible verses you've written down on random days.
7.Prayer Power-Finally, don't forget to pray
for your volunteers; not only that they will be able to teach their
lessons or remember the schedule, but pray for each of them
So, don't forget the backbone of your team-your volunteers.
Encourage them and make sure you are helping meet their spiritual
needs. Remember, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
How do you encourage your volunteers? Do you and your team have
a regular Bible study? What are ways you help your teachers grow
spiritually? Let us know in the comments below!