Behind the Scenes of a Volunteer Kick Off

By Bree Young

Have you ever wondered why we do a volunteer Kickoff every year?

Because we believe that it is one of the most important events a volunteer can go to. We believe this for two reasons.

1. Volunteers are a part of a team who together work at building authentic faith in kids and teenagers. This is a serious job and it takes Jesus, as much training as possible… and a learning heart.

2. We want our volunteers to know how thankful we are for them. We just love having each and every one of our volunteers in our ministry and we want to say thanks as often as we can. We truly couldn’t do our ministries without you.

Have you ever wondered what goes on during a volunteer kickoff?

Well wonder no more.

When you arrive, you are greeted at the door by one of our Children & Families or Youth staff members. They will hand you a package (or just a piece of paper) for you to fill out. This is our volunteer application. Do you have form phobia? Don’t worry, it’s as short as we can make it and you get to tell us all about you. There are questions like: what’s your favorite coffee, tea, or smoothie order? If you had a whole day to yourself what would you do? And what do you do for a living? Everyone likes to talk about themselves and don’t be surprised if, while you’re volunteering one day, one of our staff shows up with your favorite drink.

Next you put your name in for a chance to win a fantastic prize.

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Do you get to eat food?

Absolutely! The food was all orange this year. Can you think of 5 orange coloured foods? I am guessing that we ate all of your ideas.

How about fun? Do you play games?

This is a volunteer kickoff for kid and youth volunteers. Of course we have fun. Fun tonight comes in the form of a team building game. Table groups are asked to choose a leader, someone who can communicate details and steps with precision. After all tables choose their fearless leader everyone else is blindfolded and given a pencil and paper. The leader of the group receives a drawing. Using only their voice they must instruct their group in drawing the picture step by step, but they can’t tell them what the final picture is! When the masterpieces are finished, the drawings are all revealed. The activity produces a ton of giggles and as you can see, we have some very talented leaders and some very talented artists.

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What do the original drawings have in common? Each of them was of a baby, child, or youth. As volunteers we work together as a team using our different gifts, to build into babies, kids, and youth at SBC.

What happens next?

We inspire you with words, dance, Chinese checkers, burping the alphabet… just kidding.

We share with you what we value in our family ministries:
Drum roll please

How do you build authentic faith in kids and teenagers?

The truth is, this is not just a simple formula. That’s the nature of faith and pursuing a relationship with a mysterious and majestic Creator. Here are a few of the things we talked about:

  • You can shape a kid’s faith by connecting them to caring adults who love God and will be present in their life.
  • Our most valuable resource to help kids see God is the people in our church who know God.
  • When you lead small you realize that what you do for a few will always have more potential than what you do for many.
  • Kids need an actual, visible, consistent place where they know they belong.
  • Creating spaces that makes it easier for kids and teenagers to experience authentic relationships.

At each volunteer training we work hard at training all our volunteers just a little bit more. From the first-time volunteer to the veteran, we all have things we can learn and work on. God is not done with us yet.

Finally, everyone split up into their breakouts to get practical information about the area of ministry they volunteered for. This is the nuts and bolts, Plan to Protect Policy, question and answer period of the night.

The night is over but, I bet you want to know who won the volunteer gift basket?

Luke Johnson is the winner.

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We truly love all our volunteers. They are amazing people!
Maybe next year you will join us!

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