One of the most important ideas that have influenced the way I inspire and train volunteers over the years came from something I heard Reggie Joiner say years ago.
If you want kids or teenagers to feel significant, give them something significant to do.
While this idea was originally attributed to helping leaders understand how service is connected to the discipleship of the next generation, I believe it applies to everyone. Everyone longs for purpose. At our human core, we all long to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and hope to make a difference in the world using the time and talents we’ve been given.
And we believe the Church is perfectly positioned to offer some of the most significant opportunities for humans to find purpose. Let’s take the opportunity to be a Small Group Leader (SGL), for instance.
Developing life-long relationships with kids and teenagers, welcoming them into safe spaces, and helping them develop an everyday faith. The potential for life-long impact is so great…as long as they know what to do and how to do it.
One of the only things that can thwart the full potential of these opportunities is a lack of expectations. The role of a Small Group Leader, while on the surface seems simple, can be a pretty confusing role at times. You’re a little bit of a teacher, a little bit of a coach, mentor, and friend.
This is why it’s important to ask yourself:
Have I clearly stated what I need my SGLs to do in writing?
What are the non-negotiables of the role?
How am I keeping the SGL and those they are working with safe?
What do I hope SGLs experience in the role?
Does this sound daunting? If you have yet to flesh out the wins and expectations of volunteers who serve in your ministry (or it’s been a while since you’ve reviewed them), we’d like to gift you with you a head start.
Help Volunteers Win with the Volunteer Handbook
The Volunteer Handbook is the ultimate guide for any volunteer with a desire to lead kids and teenagers. This multi-page, newly designed handbook includes pre-written content you make your own such as:
We help you determine the win of an SGL at every phase and think through a full description, qualifications, and primary expectations of the role.
Family Ministry Covenant
While this may look different in every church context, we give you a few common and standard guidelines as they pertain to sexual, substance, and social behavior. We encourage you to think about your specific standards and values, and how you’d like to communicate them. Lastly, have your potential volunteers sign this section and turn it back into you.
Policies and Procedures
Similar to the Family Ministry Covenant, we’ve provided a few recommendations for policies around things like check-in and dismissal, restrooms, discipline, sickness, and many more. Consider the current policies of your ministry and use these suggestions to build on what you already have in place.
Where can I find the goldfish? Why do I have to wear a specific t-shirt? Your volunteers will always have questions—you probably already know that. List a few of the most popular questions and answers here that they can refer to as needed! We’ve got a few started for you.
Other Ideas for Keeping Clear Expectations:
Contact lists, calendars, curriculum – your volunteer handbook can be as detailed or as general as you want it to be. You’re in charge! The goal is for your volunteers to have a clear idea of what they’re signing up for before they begin in order to ensure a smooth experience for everyone.
If your expectations aren’t clear, you can fully expect frustration. For both you and your volunteers.
Download and customize the Volunteer Handbook today to help save you significant time and solidify a volunteer’s confidence in a significant opportunity.