When and How to Train Ministers

student podcast Nov 05, 2019

Episode Highlights

Quote at Daniel’s gym: “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” -Muhammed Ali

Hate that quote! It makes it sound like you only have to train today and then you’re done forever.

It’s never a one-time thing. We are always training!

How we train our volunteers:

  • Beginning of the year half-day retreat: three hours, all ministers, time to talk, inspiration, a little bit of practical help, only what applies to everyone, chance to get to know one another
  • Two mid-year meetings: give a couple options of times, do topics that are helpful to them, perhaps have outsider give a bit of content (such as a psychologist presenting on crisis disclosure), chance to check in with small group leaders
  • Happy hours: We tried smaller gatherings in a couple of homes. The turnout was small, but we had better relationships with those who came.
  • End of year celebration: What gets celebrated gets repeated.
  • We produce a few training videos to distribute throughout the year.
  • StuMinister Minute: Our email to ministers, 150 words or less, once a series, takes minute or less to read, create intrigue with links, end with question marks instead of periods (make it interactive so you are soliciting their participation).
  • Coaching: We provide coaches for our small group leaders. More on that in an upcoming episode.

Reality: It’s hard to get Volunteer Ministers to show up.

  • Be consistent, know you won’t get everyone.
  • Offer different types and times that they can come talk to you.
  • Reinforce when things go well, publicly thank those that come without shaming those that don’t.
  • Ask lots of questions, solicit feedback from volunteers. Don’t have to implement everything, but they do like to be heard.
    • Shut down the long-winded sharers as appropriate.
    • Perhaps limit time for people to share or share in small groups and write down to share.
    • Put it back on minister to lead something. It’s not all on the youth minister. “That’s a great idea. What do you think about being the one to make it happen?”
  • Be consistent with the language and approach: Lead small, talk 20%, listen 80%, show up physically, emotionally, spiritually, questions give general direction, not step-by-step instructions.
  • Share your wins: What gets celebrated gets repeated.


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