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Resource Center

6 Ways Technology Can Improve Volunteer Training

Apr 7, 2016 9:00:00 AM

6 Ways Technology Can Improve Volunteer Training

Vacation Bible School has a long history of doing things creatively. When looking at ways to recruit and train volunteers for this ministry, why not follow in that vein?

It might make sense to recruit volunteers and then train them for VBS or any other event or need your church may have. Yet, training information is important to have when recruiting.

Volunteer Training Matters

Whether serving as a VBS volunteer or being part of a recruitment team, I’ve found the following questions generally come up in some form or fashion:

  • What is the time commitment?
  • What all will I be responsible for?
  • Will I be trained?

The best answer for such inquiries? A well-planned training system or strategy, of course! Training serves several purposes including, but not limited to, sharing a ministry’s vision and goals; communicating general information, responsibilities, and safety protocols; equipping individuals and teams with the resources necessary to succeed; and building an atmosphere of support and encouragement.

Incorporating Technology

With so many user-friendly (well, most of the time) technology options at our fingertips, it’s an exciting time to explore creative ways that make volunteer training more accessible to those who serve.

Using digital platforms also allows those who organize and lead to share important information like dates, times, schedules, and other key facts and housekeeping items. That way, you can utilize face-to-face training time for more interactive training components (a concept our wise friends in the world education call a flipped classroom).

Here are six ways technology can help you improve your volunteer training! Hopefully this list will spark ideas as you consider how to incorporate technology into your training plan:

  1. Utilize the training resources provided in your VBS starter kit, along with those found on the publisher’s website! From training scripts to videos to meeting outlines and beyond, the curriculum developers have really thought things out. With all this fun stuff, you don’t need to start from scratch.

  2. Call on tech-savvy members. Do the words “create a video” or “upload to a shared folder” strike fear in your heart? Not only is this an opportunity to engage others in the VBS ministry as they use their talents and abilities, but you might learn something new as well!

  3. Determine what delivery method(s) work best for you, your leadership team and your setting. We all have different gifts and ways of doing things. As a VBS director, maybe you love organizing details and working on things behind the scenes, but leading a large group meeting isn’t quite your style. A training video might be more up your alley.

  4. Make handouts into PDFs that volunteers can access digitally. Email, a cloud-based shared folder, or a password protected page on your website would work well for sharing these resources.

  5. Create videos that demonstrate check in/ checkout procedures, team (small group) time discussions, games, craft projects and other program components.

  6. Set up a closed or secret Facebook group for the team. This can be a place to share information and reminders and a forum for volunteers to ask questions that are of interest to the group as a whole. You could also include a weekly ministry prayer focus!

When deciding if and how to use technology as you train and equip volunteers, consider what approach will best serve your team and support your overall goal for training. Have fun! Be creative! Let your volunteers know you value their time and their involvement. Above all, let those who serve know how appreciated they are, as they share Jesus’ love through this opportunity and beyond!

We’ve barely touched the tip of iceberg here and would love to hear how you have used, or plan to use, technology as you train and equip your volunteer team! Comment below or let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

 Looking for more ways to use technology to improve workflows in your church? 
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Katy Crawford

Written by Katy Crawford

Katy Crawford loves her husband, twin boys, family life education, and exploring the intersection of dearly held traditions and innovative ideas. As a new mom, she has a deep appreciation for online grocery ordering and also enjoys podcasts, exploring new places, pretending to be a runner, and drinking a good cup of coffee. Her greatest joy is found in Christ and being baptized into His life, death, and resurrection!