Volunteer recruitment is one of
the most difficult things in the Church, but also
one of the most important. It's our opportunity to
invite people to put their faith into action.
We are not just recruiting
volunteers, we are
a tremendous opportunity for adults to study the Bible,
share their faith, and grow in their own faith.
Unfortunately, many recruiters and their pitches sound like
"come do your duty," or "I have a slot to fill."
Rather, we should be highlighting what teaching does for
the teachers: "Come Grow Your Own
Faith & Knowledge."
Many would-be-volunteers have
tuned out the calls to teaching in part because they didn't
like the "same old" teaching that bored them as kids. And
also because many of them feel inadequate in their lesson
and Bible knowledge. So in particular to the computer lab,
you want to recruit by saying something like the following:
"This isn't the same-old
thing. You will have eager students who don't want to
stop learning with these tools. You'll have fewer
discipline problems because of their rapt attention on
the screen. And you'll be going through the software
WITH them to point out content and discuss it with
volunteers feel INADEQUATELY PREPARED to impart Bible
knowledge. So you want to express that "when you teach
with software, it's the SOFTWARE that provides ample
amounts of the content and insights. You are there to be
the "guide by the side, not the sage on the stage."
Many new teachers appreciate that.
New volunteers are often drawn
from a generation that either didn't go to Sunday School, or
didn't learn much. Or they had poor role models for today's
teaching needs. Books and "talks" can help, but the best way
to train anybody is to TEACH WITH THEM. The
mentor-apprentice method of
training is the best ever invented. Jesus used it. It
creates a personal bond between leaders and volunteers, and
it ensures you know the potential (or problems) of your
Especially with software
--which almost NO adults have ever taught with, your
LEAD TEACHER needs to "raise up new teachers in the way
they should go."
One of the things you
want to do with this is PREVIEW the software. With
new teachers, we recommend that you invite them into the
lab to look at the software, -rather than give them the
software to take home. If you give it to go home, it
might not get looked at until Saturday night. When they
meet you, HAND THEM THE PRINTOUT of the guide we have
prepared for your software at
www.sundaysoftware.com/tips The feedback we
get is that "left on their own, the volunteers won't
print the guides." Rather, the guides need to be printed
FOR them. Our online tips have many great lesson
ideas for the teacher. We write them with new teachers
in mind. But you need to print it FOR them. Then mark
them up with your own notes.
That said, many volunteers
simply don't PREPARE like you want them to. And that's
where SOFTWARE helps you overcome their lack of
preparation, because even on the WORST DAY in the
computer lab, -with an unprepared teacher or computer
malfunction, the kids will STILL WANT TO COME BACK. I
know of no other teaching medium where we get this
"break" with the kids.
The parents of students are
the place most recruiters look first, and in particular, the
friends of the recruiter! And those are good places to
start. But especially with non-traditional teaching methods,
such as teaching with software, you may need to look
elsewhere for help.
The Psychological Barrier You're
Truth is, many would-be
volunteers are HIDING from you. They grew up not liking
Sunday School, or didn't like the lesson materials and
methods they weren't successful with LAST year. So... they
are "ten foot pole-ing" you. Software helps reach out to
those hidden teachers. It's not the "same old, same old."
And in particular, the computers are a teaching medium that
MANY are either quite experienced with and like, or will
find intriguing because it's different.
Here where many of us are
finding our computer lab teachers:
1. Techie Dads. If
they relate well to children, they can be trained to teach.
Have them come teach with you, and teach them about "lesson
2. Techie Senior
Citizens. They exist! Some of my best customers are
'retired' and love to teach with software. They especially
like the fact that the computers & software help diminish
discipline problems and focus the kids' attention. (Many
older folks don't like dealing with distracted, disruptive
3. Techie Teens: Many
teens are already thinking about careers in teaching, and
they see everyday at school how teachers lead a class. Most
of them are tech-savvy, and teaching gives them a reason to
attend church. I know, ...I started teaching Sunday School
when I was 17 yrs old.
What about you? Real
teachers need to stay connected to kids to feed their souls.
If you are a pastor, superintendent or director, recruit
yourself to teach with software.
I first started teaching
with software in 1990 and knew almost nothing about
computers back then. I was a pastor and had plenty of
other things I could have turned to. But when I saw how
EAGER the kids were to learn in this manner, I knew it
was something I had to figure out.
I have been supporting
volunteer teachers and staff ever since, and I'm here to
help YOUR volunteers. Let them know that they have "a
guy" at sundaysoftware.com who is willing to give them
personal lesson and technical support, can talk theology
as well as technology, and understands their classroom
needs from first hand experience.