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How to Motivate Your Volunteers for Training

I’ve been doing a blog series and we’ve been looking at creating a youth ministry training plan, but what if your volunteers aren’t motivated for training?

Is it really lack of motivation?

The first question you have to ask yourself is if the issue really is a lack of motivation, or if there are other problems. In my experience, lack of time is often the biggest cause for volunteers to not be interested in training. It doesn’t mean they’re not motivated, it means they have no time for the training. And who can blame them when they’re trying to fit in their family, jobs and their youth ministry related activities into their schedule.

 The solution is to try and find ways of training that do fit into their schedule. Discuss it with them and really try and accommodate them whenever possible. Here are some ideas:

1. Make a video or podcast of the training and have it delivered to those that couldn’t make it.

2. Schedule a training session an hour before a youth ministry activity they would attend anyway, so it doesn’t cost them an extra night.

3. Combine training with the regular meetings you have anyway.

4. Take it online, post a video on YouTube for instance, ask people to view it when possible and then discuss it in your Facebook group.

5. Plan a whole training weekend where you cram everything into two days. Sometimes this works better because it’s a one-time thing and not something that people have to schedule in regularly. You’d still have to do follow-up training during the season, but that could be done using distance-learning methods.

6. Organize training on Saturdays and arrange for some teens to babysit so parents can bring their kids. The kids will have a blast playing together and the parents will have their hands free to attend the training.

7. Use technology so you can ‘meet’ for training without leaving the house, for instance via Skype or a Google hangout. Be creative!