Discovery Land Blog

I Thought This Was Obvious: A Lesson In Training Others

Jessi Borchardt - Thursday, July 26, 2018


As I was standing in line at the Sacramento Airport, I noticed this safety sign posted in a prominent place so everyone could see it. I thought was, "Isn't that obvious? No guns, no smoking, no explosives, no in incendiary devices. Did you really need to post this? Haven't we all heard this a million times?"

After shaking my head, I paused and realized that this was my perspective, as someone who travels regularly. For others, this may be the first time they've ever flown, or maybe they haven't flown in a very long time. I also remembered that one time a mission trip colleague, also a seasoned traveler, inadvertently packed a very long knife in her carry on bag for a trip to the jungle, which is obviously not allows. Whoops!

So I guess the obvious isn't always so...obvious! This is a principle to remember as we prepare to train our volunteers for a new season of ministry. As leaders, we eat, sleep, and breathe children's ministry, but that is not the case for our most of our volunteers.

So let's remember:
1) Repetition is key. Do no assume that volunteers fully understood an idea or instruction the first time.

2) Make your key points big, simple and obvious. Be bold and just say what you need to say. For example: "We expect our kids to listen and obey while in class because we value them learning and living out the Word of God."

3) Avoid big words. What does incendiary even mean? It means "(of a device or attack) designed to cause fires" by the way. If you want to make your point clear, use words that the average person can readily understand and apply.

Your whole ministry will benefit when you look at your training through the lens of others!

Mystery Coolers

Jessi Borchardt - Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Technology is extremely helpful in communicating efficiently with a group of volunteers. But do you find yourself crafting emails filled with inspiring vision, important ministry details, and prayer requests...only to have volunteers show up without having read them?

"Mystery Coolers" is a fun tool that helps us boost the number of volunteers who open and read their ministry emails.

About once a month, we fill up a cooler with a snack or treat, and place it in the out-of-the-way location. In that week's email, we let our volunteers know that it's "Mystery Cooler" night and add in a clue as to what's in the cooler.

Example: This week the mystery cooler can be found in the kitchen. You bring so much "Pep" to our ministry. Thank you for reading your weekly email!

Note: They are instructed to keep the location under wraps: it's only for those who actually read the email!

This year's mystery coolers will include:

Pepsi - You bring so much "Pep" to our ministry...Thank you for reading your weekly email and not allowing tonight to be a mystery to you...

M&M's - Many Many thanks for reading your weekly emails.

Bubble gum - Thanks for sticking with us during fall kick off

Orange Crush - It's time to CRUSH the enemy! Thanks for faithfully serving!

Small Pringle cans - Thanks for multiplying yourself by making disciples of Jesus.

St. Patty cookies - It's way beyond luck that you serve in Awana...Thank you for obeying God's calling on your life to serve.