Teach One Reach One was a dream God developed in my heart over many years. I have watched volunteers hundreds of times as they approach teaching Sunday School, tutor kids in faith-based programs and serve on mission teams conducting VBS and tutoring. Many of these people have no formal training to teach, but love children and want to do everything they can to point these precious little ones to God.
While these wonderful, loving people have taken the words of Jesus about children to heart, they often approach their volunteer assignment with fears and doubts. Maybe they have heard how wild this particular group of children is. Perhaps they weren’t given any activities ideas to go with the story they are teaching. Sometimes they just have no idea how to approach tutoring a subject they don’t really like themselves and somehow work God into the conversation at the same time.
Many churches and faith-based programs are almost afraid to attempt to better equip their volunteers. They fear asking them to attend training sessions will drive away the few volunteers they have. Let me reassure you, I have volunteered for all types and sizes of volunteer organizations in multiple states. The programs that provided intensive training for volunteers were not only often the best run and most effective, but they also often had a waiting list of volunteers. Training tells potential volunteers you are willing to do what it takes to meet the mission of your church or program. Mission quality and clarity attracts quality volunteers.
Often the hesitation to provide training is more practical. How can you afford training on your already tight budget and where can you find experienced people to train your volunteers? This is where Teach One Reach One can help. The first thing you can do is to encourage your volunteers to follow Teach One Reach One on Facebook or sign up to receive our blog posts (Teaching Tips for Christian Volunteers) in their email. Once or twice a week, your volunteers will have access to a short practical article to help them have better classes immediately.
Encourage your volunteers to look around the Teach One Reach One website. We have all sorts of resources from those to share with the parents of their students to meaningful, hands-on activity ideas and much more. Have them check the website regularly as we continue to add new resources.
The best news is you can bring us in to train your volunteers. We have conducted a workshop at the Points of LIght National Conference on Volunteering and Service, so we love to do high quality, interactive workshops. We appreciate your budget concerns and your mission, so we do not want to add to your burden, but rather help you enhance your program. As a result, we keep your costs to the bare minimum. We may even have a scholarship available to cover the cost if you are a foreign mission field or have a compelling need for outside help. Simply contact us and we will see how we can train your volunteers as cost effectively for you as possible.
Currently we offer four workshops for your volunteers and four for the parents of your students. We are developing a fifth volunteer workshop on empathy and would love to test it with your group (ask about the bare bones fee for hosting one of our trial workshops). All of these workshops are highly interactive and fun. The participants will leave with knowledge and experience and lots of handouts to remind them of the things they have learned. Best of all, they will be better prepared to help your program serve the people you are trying to reach and serve for God.
Taking the extra time to train your volunteers may seem intimidating and scary. In reality, if done well, it will help you meet your mission and goals as never before. It’s worth the effort. Let us know how we can help.