By Bob D’Ambrosio
Rhonda was excited to join the Sunday school team at her church to help with the first-graders. But when she heard she was scheduled to be the lead teacher next week, without any orientation or training, she panicked and quit!
Training is the most neglected component of equipping people to serve in ministry. Leaders are quick to find a willing participant, place them in a volunteer role, then heave a sigh of relief. “Here’s the Leader Guide—have fun!”
The benefit of training team members isn’t just for increased effectiveness and skill development. More importantly, ministry training is directly linked to a person’s spiritual growth and discipleship. As we understand and become who God created us to be, we build a stronger connection to Jesus.
When training your staff and volunteers, consider intentionally training toward the three C’s: Character, Content, and Competencies.
Help your team discover who they are in Christ and how to live (and lead) as the forgiven people of God. Incorporate spiritual nurture and development into your training plan. This could be as simple as including a time of sharing how God has been at work in their lives that week during each training session.
Discuss what volunteers need to know to be successful. I once called a church that had a volunteer receptionist who said she didn’t know how to transfer a call to someone’s voicemail. How unfortunate for that woman—to be placed in a situation with no training to do the job she was asked to do. Obviously, content will vary by position, but it should include all the information your people need to know to be effective in their ministry role.
Train your people with the soft skills they’ll need to be successful. These are the qualities related to how you work with others—the people skills. Does the person already have these skills to accomplish the job? Do their spiritual gifts complement the behavioral style needed for the role? Determine this before placing someone in a ministry role to make sure you have a good match. Then, affirm what each person brings to the position, and allow them to utilize their gifts and abilities.
Group U’s core leadership courses provide a solid foundation in the character, content, and competencies necessary for effective relational ministry leadership. Empower your team to be the people God calls them to be.