7 Tips for Building Communication with Your Volunteers {Children’s Ministry Series}

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Children’s Ministry is not something one does alone. It takes a village to run a ministry and that village must be “in the know” of certain goals and visions for everything to work properly. So how do you communicate to your team effectively?

Werner, a seasoned Children’s Minister, is offering 7 tips for building communication that you can begin to use today. Enjoy!

building communicationI am writing this article out of experience, but also for myself, as I am still learning.

Why is Communication important?

Your team wants to hear from you.  Regularly. Otherwise they will become disengaged, get frustrated, eventually leave your Team, or even leave the church. You can’t expect them to do their job in your ministry if you don’t tell them what they have to do, or what you expect from them.

The key is open communication.

I follow a few blogs by other Children’s Pastors, and all of them say, communication is very important.

Uniquely Made

I have realized that each person on my Team is different.  I see them through the eyes of God. Each one of us is made unique by our Heavenly Father, and we all communicate and listen differently. That is the first thing we need to understand.

There are many articles, books, and blogs where we can learn about the different communication styles. For example, some communication styles are: the Relator, Socializer, Thinker, and Director. It would help a lot, if you can find out the Communication Style for each one of your team members. Here is a FREE Inventory that you can use yourself and use with your team. Discuss as a group your communication styles.

Ask Them

How do your volunteers want to be communicated with? Some people want to be asked in person. Some like to receive a phone call. Others will respond better with text messages, and others again do via Social Media, like Facebook.

5 Keys to Building Communication with Volunteers

THIS article includes these 5 keys to communicating with volunteers.
Key #1: Communicate Early
Key #2: Communicate Often
Key #3: Consider your audience
Key #4: Use various communication Tools
Key #5: Use various communication Methods

communicationUse Technology to Your Advantage

I love Technology, and all the benefits it can bring me. I use it to be more productive. However, don’t use technology as your only method for communication. For example, I would rather email, than text. I can say much more in an email, than with a text message. However, some people on my team would rather receive a text message, than an email. They don’t even check their email for two weeks. So I’ve learned that I can send an email, and then send a Text Message, or Facebook Message, asking them to check their email for more details.

Also, I have learned from another Children’s Pastor that she creates short videos and posts them to a Closed Facebook Group. (By the way, I have not tried that one yet, but will soon). She records short videos (3-5 minutes), using her phone explaining the Bible Story for the week, the Small Group Activities, and the Sample Craft, if there is a craft for that week. She said that she got a better response, than just posting to the group, or emailing.

Orange shared a few other ways to communicate.
What’s the Best Way to Communicate? and
Leveraging Effective Communication Methods for Your Church

Have Fun and Create Relationships

Communication is important, but don’t forget the relationship. If we just talk business, and mechanical, the other person won’t feel valued as a person. Would you want to listen to somebody who always talks about the business and work, and never asks you how you are doing? We need to remember we work with people who have feelings and lives outside of the church. They are volunteers. When Jesus ministered to the people, he always related to them first on a personal level. Especially his disciples. In Luke 4:38-39, Jesus healed Simon’s Mother-in-law, not because he had to, but because he knew how important that family relationship was.

Communication = Humanity

Communication is what makes us human. God communicates with us daily, and He communicates with us in different ways. We always learn new methods, and new insights in what is the best communication. Communication is changing daily. One hundred years ago, people communicated verbally and with writing. But then the telephone came, and then mobile phones, and the internet. Now Social Media is varied too. We have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and websites. However, keep the human contact as the Number One way to communicate. To hear and see somebody is better than a impersonal email, or message on the phone.

Never Stop Learning

Communication is evolving. Experts are still learning how humans communicate. So we should never stop learning and get better at communicating with our team.

children's ministry

20140222_154153Werner is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God (Cleveland, TN), and also a certified Children’s Pastor. He and his wife have been involved in Children’s Ministry for over 15 years, and they love to teach children, and lead them to Christ. For them the most important part of Children’s Ministry is to build relationships with the children and the Volunteer Team, and to make an impact in God’s Kingdom. They have been leading Children’s Ministry for the last 6 years, and now it is time to train up the next generation.

Thoughts? Please share!