The Well Equipped Volunteer Children’s Ministry Handbook – Table of Contents

When I go to a book store I like the flip through the table of contents so that I know the book will cover the topics that I want before I buy it. So here’s the table of contents for my book.

Page #
Introduction 1
Part 1: Vision, Purpose, And Mission 3
Introduction 5
Chapter 1 Vision 7
Chapter 2 Purpose 15
Chapter 3 Mission 19
Chapter 4 What To Do Once You Have A Vision, Purpose, And Mission 23
Part 2: Programming And Curriculum 27
Introduction 29
Chapter 5 Children’s Ministry Spectrum 31
Chapter 6 Disciple-Making Strategy Overview 35
Chapter 7 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #1 – What A Growing Disciple Looks Like 39
Chapter 8 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #2 – Scope: What Should Be Taught 45
Chapter 9 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #3 – Sequence: To Whom And In What Order The Scope Should Be Taught 61
Chapter 10 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #4 – The Program: When It Should Be Taught 103
Chapter 11 Disciple-Making Strategy Step #5 – Measuring Growth 105
Chapter 12 Curriculum 107
Chapter 13 Choosing And Evaluating Curriculum 111
Bonus Chapter: Choosing Curriculum For Toddlers 119
Chapter 14 Getting The Most Out Of The Curriculum You Have 121
Chapter 15 Programs – VBS 125
Chapter 16 Programs – Sunday School, Children’s Church, And Nursery 129
Chapter 17 Important Elements Of Sunday School Or Children’s Church – Worship 137
Chapter 18 Important Elements Of Sunday School Or Children’s Church – Bible Memory 149
Chapter 19 Important Elements Of Sunday School Or Children’s Church – Missions 159
Chapter 20 Writing SMART Goals 163
Chapter 21 Program Evaluation 165
Part 3: Volunteers 171
Introduction 173
Chapter 22 Recruiting Volunteers 175
Chapter 23 Training Volunteers 205
Chapter 24 Encouraging Volunteers 217
Chapter 25 Supporting Volunteers 221
Chapter 26 Retaining Volunteers 225
Part 4: Administration 227
Introduction 229
Chapter 27 How To Do Children’s Ministry Administration Without Going Crazy 231
Chapter 28 Safety Guidelines 239
Chapter 29 Forms And Records 253
Chapter 30 Working With Others In The Church 259
Part 5: Teacher Training 265
Introduction 267
Chapter 31 Understanding Age Groups 269
Chapter 32 Teach One Thing 275
Chapter 33 Lesson Preparation 281
Chapter 34 The Lesson – Getting Attention 287
Chapter 35 The Lesson – Bible Study 289
Chapter 36 The Lesson – Application 293
Chapter 37 How To Ask Good Questions 307
Chapter 38 Teaching Bible Skills 309
Chapter 39 Sharing The Gospel With Kids 313
Chapter 40 Storytelling Techniques 333
Chapter 41 Object Lessons – What They Are And Why You Should Use Them 341
Chapter 42 How To Use Games To Help Drive Home Your Key Theme, Learn Bible Verses, Or Develop Bible Skills 347
Chapter 43 How To Teach A Multi-Age Class 351
Chapter 44 Classroom Management 355
Chapter 45 Discipline 365
Chapter 46 Safety Guidelines Refresher Training 373
Chapter 47 50 Pop-Up Training Ideas 379
Conclusion 407
Appendices 409
Recommended Books For The Sunday School Classroom 411
10 Essential Classroom Supplies 415
How To Put Together The Best Prop Box Ever 419
Bible Story Box 421
Praying For You, Your Team, And Your Kids 423

To buy the book on amazon, click the book cover below.

TheWellEquippedVolunteerChildrensMinistryHandbook

 

It’s Published! The Well Equipped Volunteer Children’s Ministry Handbook

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After a year and a half of intensive writing and editing, I’m excited to announce that my book is finally published! The Well Equipped Volunteer Children’s Ministry Handbook has everything you need to lead Children’s Ministry in your church. It’s a 400 plus page manual for Children’s Ministry leaders and volunteers to help them start and grow a thriving Children’s Ministry.

The book brings together everything I’ve learned in my 17+ years in Children’s Ministry. The book is divided into five parts:

  1. Vision, Purpose, and Mission: This helps you build the big picture of your ministry.
  2. Programming and Curriculum: Develop a disciple-making strategy; learn to analyze curriculum; and build programs that meet the needs of your church and community.
  3. Volunteers: Learn to recruit, train, and retain volunteers.
  4. Administration: Develop effective safety guidelines, create a budget, and work with others in the church.
  5. Teacher Training: This section has over a dozen detailed training topics (like lesson prep, sharing the gospel with kids, and discipline) to enable leaders to train their volunteers.

Check out this post for the table of contents.

To buy the book on amazon, click the book cover below.

TheWellEquippedVolunteerChildrensMinistryHandbook

Organize Your Resource Room

Are you scared to walk into your resource room? Are your volunteers too scared to try and open the supply cabinets worried that they will be buried by an avalanche of pompoms, construction paper, old curriculum, cotton swabs, paint brushes, and googly eyes?

Most churches have some version of a resource room. They may not have a full room to give over to storing resources; they may just have a cupboard. Regardless of what it’s called, churches store their resources and supplies. Whether you have a resource room or a supply cabinet, you need to have a strategy for organizing and using the resources.

Resource rooms generally hold curriculum, curriculum resources, visuals, flannel graphs, and sometimes supplies (sometimes the resource room and supplies cabinet are two different areas).

Your method of organization will reflect the type of room or area that you have to store your resources and supplies.

Organize Your Stuff

Regardless, sort the material you have to organize into categories. The purpose here is to make things easy to find. So be logical about it. Put all the curricula together. Put the classroom supplies together and put the craft supplies together. Once you have your resource room items sorted, label the shelves or bins. Then provide sign-out sheets. If anyone borrows something (other than craft supplies), they should sign it out. That way you and the rest of the volunteers know where things are.

Once your resource room/supplies cabinet is organized, you need to communicate to your volunteers what is available for their use and how they can make use of it.

Inventory List

Provide each volunteer with an inventory list of everything that is in the resource room/supply cabinet. You could put an inventory list in the volunteer packet (if you have one; and I highly recommend that you do!).

Create a Map of the Resource Room

Then create a “map” of the resource room/supply cabinet. At one church I worked in our supply cabinets were made up of shelves along a back wall enclosed by 4 doors. To create a “map” of the contents I covered the inside of each door with paper. At the top of each piece of paper I added the door number (#1-4) and a label of the type of items found behind that door: #1 Base Material; #2 Craft Elements; #3 Craft Tools; #4 Office Supplies.

Supply Cabinets - Close up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Base Material included construction paper, felt, fabric pieces, paper plates, cardboard, tin foil, coffee filters, etc.

Craft elements included pipe cleaners, pompoms, bead, ribbon, sea shells, rocks, stickers, pasta shapes, etc.

Supply Cabinets - Craft Elements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crafts tools included scissors, toothpicks, cotton swabs, straws, paint, paint brushes, crayons, markers, pencil crayons, etc.

Supply Cabinets - Craft tools

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office Supplies included hole punches, binders, rulers, tacks, pins, etc.

Then for each shelf there was an arrow pointing to the shelf beside a corresponding list on the paper of what could be found on that shelf.

Supply Cabinet door info

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On each door I also included a paper that said, “Read this first”. This paper contained two sections: guidelines for using the supplies cabinets and tips for using the supplies.

Supply Cabinets - Read First Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The guidelines were simple:

  • These closets are for everyone.
  • Please return items to their original location.
  • Almost out of something? Let me know so I can replace it.

The tips for using the supply cabinets included listing what each door contained, and then providing a few labour-saving devices. There were three items in the cabinets that I highlighted with additional signs. The location of a craft binder was highlighted with a blue smiley face. The location of ready-to-go crafts was highlighted with an orange star. And the location of baskets for carrying supplies was highlighted with a pink smiley face.

Supply Cabinets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, finally, I created an inventory list that corresponded with the layout of the supply cabinets.

Now, you don’t have to organize your supply cabinet/resource room exactly like I did, but I do highly recommend that you organize the material in a way that makes sense (base materials, craft elements, craft tools), clearly label that material, and then communicate with your volunteers the inventory, guidelines, and some tips for using the supplies.

Create a culture of getting people to put things back where they found it. This will keep the area tidy and make everyone’s job easier. Also, set aside a few minutes each week to tidy, restock, and track things down that are missing.

How to Create a Sign-up Form Using Google Drive

VBS is coming up and with that comes registration forms!! Are you curious about online registration forms? Wondering how easy it is to create an online registration form? Here is a step by step guide to creating a sign-up form on google docs. Don’t worry! It’s pretty easy and there are pictures! Here we go!

(NOTE: I do my very best to keep this up-to-date. However, Google updates their interface sometimes and I don’t always know about it, plus every computer may display some of these things differently, depending on the internet browser you use. So, these pictures may not always match exactly to what you are see but they should be pretty close. If you find the pictures are very different, feel free to get in touch and met me know so I can update them. Thank you!)

1. Sign in and go to https://drive.google.com/

2. Click the blue New button.


3. A little window will open with a few options.

 

4. Click Google Sheets.

5. A blank spreadsheet will open.

blank spreadsheet

 

6. In the menu above the spreadsheet, click Tools.

7. A menu will open.

8. Click Create Form.

create form

 

9. A form template displays.

form template

 

10. Give your spreadsheet a title.

11. Click Add Item to add as many questions as you want. If you hover over the little arrow to the right of Add Item, you’ll get some different question-type options. You’ll probably use the Text one a lot but some of the others are helpful, too.

add item

 

12. When we created a form for VBS registration, we included some of the following questions:

  • Text questions:
    • Name
    • Parents’ names
    • Age
  • Paragraph text questions:
    • Allergies
  • Check boxes
    • How the parent heard of the program
    • Permission to contact the parents about other programs

13. When you’re done, click View Live Form.

view live form

 

14. To share the form…

  • Copy the URL when you are viewing the live form and put it into emails that you send out to parents.
  • Or, if you want to embed the form, click File and then select Embed and it will give you some HTML to copy and paste into your church’s website.

embed

 

15. When you want to review responses, you can sign in to Google Drive and open the Sheet. If it opens in a spreadsheet, you’ll see a list of the responses sorted into columns according to the questions you asked. Or, if it takes you to this form-builder page then just click View Responses.

view responses

 

You’re done! That’s all there is to it! If you want a larger view of any of the pictures in this article, simply click on them.

A big thank you to my husband, Aaron! He put this together for me and now I’m sharing it with you. I hope you find it helpful.

 

 

 

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Job Descriptions for Current Children’s Ministry Programs

pen in hand

17 Steps to Writing Job Descriptions for Current Children’s Ministry Programs

1. Download the job description template available here. You will be using it so keep it nearby! This step-by-step guide was designed to be used in conjunction with the job description template. It will not make much sense without it so don’t skip this step!

2. Download the job description instruction guide available here. It contains hints and tips for completing the template that you may find helpful.

3. List all current children’s ministry programs at your church. (You may find it helpful to use one page for each program.)

4. For each program you have written down, list all volunteer positions for that program. For example, if one of your current programs is Sunday School, list every volunteer role for Sunday School – teacher, helper, registration, sub, etc.

5. You will be writing job descriptions for every volunteer position in children’s ministry – but don’t worry – we are going to do it one step at a time. So look at the list you created in step 3 and choose one program to start with.

6. Grab a blank job description template and get ready to start filling it in!

7. The first blank space is titled Ministry. Write the program you have chosen to start with here. For example, “Sunday School teacher.”

8. In the blank space beside Ministry Leader write the name and contact information of the person who is in charge of this program. This will be the person that a volunteer will contact with questions, concerns, etc.

9. The last area to fill out in this first box of information is ministry area. Here you want to provide detail about the specific department, for example, “Preschool Sunday School.” If you are a small children’s ministry this may not be pertinent. If this part of the template is not something you will use, delete it. The great thing about this job description template is that is it customizable. Tailor it to fit your situation!

10. Once you have filled in the basic information about the volunteer position, it’s time to provide more detailed information. A good job description tells a volunteer how long they are committing to a position. Since this is a current program, you will need to find out from the program leader or current volunteers how long they have committed to this particular position. If a length of commitment hasn’t been clearly stated now is the time to figure it out.

11. Fill in the amount of time each week the volunteer role requires. This part of the job description template is called “Time Commitment.” Be specific about how much time each week this role requires. Include the time at the program, any preparation time, and any before and/or after program expectations. Talk with the volunteers in this role. How long do they spend every week preparing for their volunteer position? How long do they spend at their volunteer position, including setup and cleanup?

12. The next section of the job description is where you will specify the qualifications volunteers need to have in this volunteer position. 2 or 3 requirements should be enough. What do you require of your volunteers? If a background check is required for this position, add it to this section.

13. A good job description will include the training offered to volunteers in this position. Be specific. What training is currently provided for volunteers in this position?

14. Finally, describe the specific responsibilities of volunteers for this position. In order to be as specific as possible, record the responsibilities during the week (these would include preparation time, for example) and responsibilities the day of (including set up and clean up).

15. Once the job description is complete, send a copy to the program leader or a volunteer who has been serving in the program for a while. Ask them to look it over and let you know if it is accurate. Their input is valuable, so listen carefully and make changes as suggested.

16. Repeat all the steps for each volunteer position in your children’s ministry.

17. Give a job description to every volunteer who is currently working in children’s ministry. Let them know that you appreciate what they do and wanted to get down on paper what their role is so that there is no confusion and so that new or potential volunteers can see what would be expected of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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