Tuesday Tip: Training – It’s Importance and Mistakes I’ve Made

Serving on the ministry team of Awana Missionaries and running CommanderBill.net, I am involved in several trainings, from Regional Basic Trainings, to individual church trainings, to conferences, to being a consultant to churches and individuals. So you would think that I’ve got it down and run the perfect club, right? Well, I wish that was the case, but it isn’t and that allows me to help illlustrate why training is so important.

As I’ve noted, our club has had quick growth which required us to gather additional volunteers to serve. I held training for the original base group, but as we’ve added a few others, it was “on the job” training and because I was focused on logistics and getting things moving, I did not have the proper time to train them well, and I do not have anyone in place to train them properly. One of the logistical things I need to work out.

So why is it so important to train people properly? In this case, it is recordkeeping and here are a couple of reasons why:

1) The child’s name. Sounds simple enough, but leaders are used to just putting the clubber’s first name on the forms we use. Well, as we exploded with clubbers, we now have two or more children with the same first name and so to just put the child’s first name makes keeping proper records difficult. I am currently training someone to handle the admin stuff and enter the data into the recordkeeping software we use and except for knowing where they are in their handbooks, there would otherwise be no way of knowing which clubber completed what for the night (except checking their handbooks which adds time to inputting data).

2) Recording acheivement. One of the new volunteers was briefly trained on what is required for a child to complete a section, but not how to record it so we would know what was completed. As we enetered records this past week, we noticed that some clubbers had apparantly skipped some sections only to find out (upon checking their handbooks) that the “new” leader had signed the books but had not recorded them on the forms we use for recordkeeping.

These are small training issues and I will be able to correct them quickly and easily, but left unchecked, can cause long term problems and confusion/frustration within the club causing it to be less effective for the Kingdom.

So provide proper training which will allow the club to run smoother and help retain volunteers.


Awana at Home Parent Kit Review

Awana at Home Parent KitI received my order which included the Awana at Home Parent Kit. I was not planning on ordering a copy because I have been reluctant to continue to follow the Awana at Home materials because I have been disappointed with what I have seen to this point. Unlike most, my original introduction to what Awana at Home has become was many years ago at the Vision Conference for what was the Rorheim Institute. At that time I was very excited about what was envisioned, but I soon realized that the vision was not taking place the way I thought it might. I became skeptical that Awana would develop a quality resource and I didn’t know if I wanted to take a chance ordering yet another product that I thought might disappoint.

I have to tell you that I was pleasantly surprised! The magazine enclosed explains the concept behind the Awana at Home Parent Kit and includes the basics for an Awana at Home night for 24 nights, which would be 24 weeks if planned once a week. Included is also a tracking chart so families and the church’s Awana at Home Director can track them as they go through the 24 lessons. This provides a level of accountability as well since there would be an “outsider” checking to see if the family is continuing with this family time. The “lesson” for each of the 24 weeks is an episode of Adventures in Odyssey and the magazine contains discussion guides for each lesson and a take-away.

The intro CD included does an excellent job of explaining the Awana at Home concept as well as letting parents know about the various products and resources available from Awana to help disciple their children.

I am very pleased with what I have seen with the Awana at Home Parent kit. It approaches parents in a “non-threatening” way and explains how they can use it in their unique family setting (no two families are identical) and provides tools to help them with the night.

If you have families in your church, or wherever, that are seeking for a quality resource to help them raise their children to know, love and serve Jesus , then I encourage you to share this resource with them.

Click here (or on the image) to view and purchase the Awana at Home Parent Kit

Putting Patches on Cubbie and Sparks Vests

Now I do not sew, but I have heard that it can be difficult and tedious to sew the patches for Cubbies and Sparks on to the vests. I have heard of a company that makes adhesive sheets to place patches on uniforms. Designed for Scouts and other organizations, they have developed sheets for Cubbies and Sparks!!! The company is Badge Magic

Scroll down the page and on the left you will see a category for “Church Groups” and then under that you will see the links for the Cubbie and Sparks patches. If you use them, please leave a comment, or let me know how well they work (or not).

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