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OC16 Notes: Coaching The Best Out Of Your Elementary Volunteers

Orange Leaders
Orange Leaders Thursday April 28, 2016
<? echo $type; ?> OC16 Notes: Coaching The Best Out Of Your Elementary Volunteers

The following are notes from Jeremy Holbrook from Gina McClain’s OC16 Presentation 

You have a stellar group of volunteers that say “Yes” to best friend drama, roller rink outings, and getting into those worship dance moves.  Time to check the Children’s Ministry volunteer box and move on, right?  Truth is, you’re just getting started. We’re here to discover practical, effective steps to support those you depend on every week.

“The scope of your influence is determined by the success of your leader.” —Reggie Joiner 

Gain Elevation

Look beyond ideas. Stop thinking like a teacher, and start thinking like a coach. Teacher help leaders understand. Coaches help leaders win. Teachers stand in front of volunteers. Coaches walk beside volunteers.

Educating vs. Empowering

Move beyond annual training, shift to consistent coaching.(Strategic Cues that don’t focus on the content as much as the cue)

Ask: How do we create a coaching atmosphere in our ministry?

Consider:  Vision, Systems, Behavior, Culture

  • Vision– The picture of what should be versus what is.
  • Systems– Processes that produce outcomes.
  • Behaviors– The actions an individual embraces.
  • Culture– The behaviors, beliefs, and values of a group of people.

Vision reflected in your systems will cue individual behaviors that fosters a culture that lives out your vision. We want to develop the kind of ministry that we’ll be able to hand off, and be proud of. Not a ministry that relies on “ME”, but the kind of ministry we wish we would have been given when we arrived.

Step 1: Cue the Vision 

  • Define what should be:
  • 30-second “WHY”: “Vision in a nutshell’ why does this role matter?
  • Draw a picture of what “BEST” looks like : What behaviors make a great volunteer?”
  • Grab a dry erase board and make some notes. Write out every behavior that makes THAT volunteer so great. Of all the behaviors on the board—which ones could you lead others to embrace?
  • When you start there, you’ve created a target to aim toward.

The following comes from Lead Small.. Use these or create your own:

Be Present:  Show up Predictably (consistent & on time.). Show up Mentally (engaged with kids; come prepared) Show up Randomly (think beyond game and group time.)

  1. Create a safe place.  Allows faith to develop over time
  2. Partner with Parents.  Honor the most influential voice in their life.
  3. Make it Personal. Personal growth is evident in their life.
  4. Move them out.  Thinks beyond this season. Engages them in a bigger story.

When you begin with a description of behaviors that make someone successful then it’s easier to CUE for it.

Step 2: Examine Systems 

It’s possible that if you don’t like your outcomes—you don’t have a vision issue—you have a systems issue. Support what should be a Leadership System—how you empower, equip, and encourage your volunteers.

  • Do your volunteers receive the level of relationship connection you want them to give? (If you have an 8:1 ratio of kids to volunteer, is that how we lead with our volunteers?  We may need to develop directors/key leaders to coach volunteers.)
  • Do you have a support system in place to CUE your volunteers?
  • How many volunteers can you effectively CUE.
  • Map out a STRUCTURE to support connection
  • Define the behaviors of the roles within that structure to ensure connection.

Step 3: Bring Accountability 

  • Require what should be
  • Take step 1 behaviors & introduce, evaluate, and measure
  • Measure how your volunteers are living it the behaviors of a great volunteer
  • Measure how your leadership (aka Coaches) are living out the behaviors of a great coach
  • Where you see opportunity:
  • CUE the values and let them know what you see
  • Challenge toward growth
  • Redirect when necessary

Where there’s accountability, there is improvement. Where there is no accountability, there is no improvement.

Vision reflected in your systems will produce individual behaviors that fosters a culture that lives out your vision.

Jeremy Holbrook is the pastor for children’s ministries at Wildwood Church in Ashland, Kentucky.


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