Here are ten ideas for ways to communicate with your team throughout the club year.
Email Chain. Keep an ongoing email chain with all of your volunteers. Encourage volunteers to send an email using “reply all” to share encouraging notes, pictures taken during club, verses, moments that they saw God working, prayer requests or when they need advice. You may need to lay some ground rules so that it doesn’t become a place for criticism, but one for building each other other.
Encouragement Board. Create a place where leaders can leave signed or anonymous notes of encouragement to each other. Create an envelope for each leader with their name and some sort of picture/decoration on it. Or let leaders design their own envelope with something that represents them. Attach to a poster board and leave it up in the classroom or another accessible spot throughout the year. Encourage leaders to write notes throughout the year and be sure to write a note to each leader at least once over the course of the year.
Pray Together. Create regular times when you can pray together and for your leaders. This may be directly before or after club, a separate time each week, or at monthly/quarterly prayer meetings. Pray for specific needs of specific people – both leaders and children in your club and their families.
Gifts. Celebrate the involvement of each leader in club by giving them a small gift. Perhaps it is a Pioneer Clubs tote bag they can use while grocery shopping, a book related to children’s ministry, a gift card, etc. Make each gift personal, or give the same/similar gifts to each leader.
Get Their Feedback. Give leaders opportunities to share feedback with you. There may be things going well that you didn’t realize or things that could be adjusted to improve club. Pray for a humble attitude as you receive feedback on club. Use club member, leader and parent evaluation forms to help inform your meeting.
Communicate Expectations. Be sure to communicate with your leaders to make sure you understand the expectations you have of one another. They will have expectations of you and your role, and you will have expectations of them. If one of you expects that the other will or will not do something and then the opposite happens, one party may become frustrated or disappointed. Easily avoid this by communicating this at the beginning of the year and provide reminders throughout the year.
Training. Consider using the Leader Training Outlines book for training leaders before and during club. Set up one longer training or multiple shorter training sessions throughout the year.
Group Text. Consider using a group text for quick communication with leaders. Use apps like “Group Me” to send to large groups. You may wish to include all leaders in the same text group, or separate by your key group leaders and each club groups’ leaders. That way you may be able to keep information more specific for each club group. One challenge of group texts is that when you send out a text everyone’s phones may receive a large number of texts if multiple people reply. If you use this, you may need to set ground rules, such as having leaders respond only to you or their individual club group’s leader if they have a specific question or concern.
Have a Meal Together. Invite a few leaders over to your house for dinner or go out to eat at a restaurant. Spend quality time together talking about your lives and ministry. Develop your relationships as brothers and sisters in Christ. Follow the example of the early church in Acts 2:42-47, who ate together with their fellow believers with gladness.
Do Something Fun Together. Invite a few leaders to do a fun activity together. Find something you both enjoy, whether it is playing a sport together, visiting a museum, playing board games, going to see a movie, etc. The point is just to spend time together doing something fun. Try not to talk about club the entire time!