The Nitty Gritty for New Volunteers: Part 3

Questions and Answers signpost

New Volunteers have a lot of questions!

We need to ease their concerns and provide answers. It is very important that all of our volunteers are trained and prepared to do a great job. It’s difficult to make sure that every new volunteer receives the same information in the best possible way.

If you want to deliver an excellent and consistent outcome – create a system! This is our system for New Volunteers.

To read the entire process, you will want to check our Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

That last few steps:

Step 7: Staff will follow up the Monday after the volunteer apprentices. The Groups Director will personalize the “Apprentice 1 Follow Up” email. This email  will ask to set up a time to talk about his first experience in the environment as well as a time to personally interview the new volunteer.

Apprentice 1 Follow Up:


Thanks for coming to observe yesterday. I hope you enjoyed your time with (grade). I’d love to connect with you this week to see how things went and for a short interview.

Please let me know what day, time, and number would be best to reach you. I look forward to talking with you!


Everyone MUST be interviewed before apprenticing the second time!

Step 8: Call or meet with the apprentice for the interview. Use the “SGL Interview” sheet. Complete the document and place it in his file.

Small Group Leader Interview Sheet:


sgl-interview-backStep 9: Confirm his second apprenticing time. Send him the “Apprentice 2” email. This email will notify him of where and when he will meet to apprentice as well as inform him of any paperwork that is still incomplete. During this apprenticing time he meets with staff or a coach. Attach the curriculum for the age group that he will be apprenticing with.

Apprentice 2 Email:


It was great getting to know you and hearing your story. You signed to apprentice this Sunday, at the service.

Please arrive at . If you want to, come a little early and grab breakfast in Room .

If you get lost or forget the room number, there will be someone at the UpStreet front desk to help you find the room.

We still need the following from you in order to complete the volunteer process:

Top of Form

Reference Form

Bottom of Form

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Staff Name

Step 10: Staff or Coach meets with the apprentice and covers everything on the “Staff Apprenticing Checklist”. This list includes things like general “need to knows” about UpStreet (example: donut room), and important things like the evacuation process, safety policies, etc.

Staff Apprenticing Checklist (for a new Small Group Leader):

1.Morning Schedule

Time to arrive 8:20/10:20; Time to be in your classroom- 8:30/10:30

Breakfast- you can come earlier and grab breakfast

Emphasize importance of being on time

There is a meeting in your classroom on Sunday morning with your coach before opening room to check kids in

2. Setting up for your morning

Staff will hand each person curriculum and pass out supplies and walk them through this.

3. Curriculum

Early Arriver

Kids arrive at all different times. Early arriver is design to be self directed giving you the opportunity to greet each child individual as they arrive and make them feel welcomed and comfortable

Opening Activity

This activity hints to setting up what they will be learning (Bible Story in lg)

4. Large Group

Model worshiping God and listening during the Bible story

Stay with you group of kids at ALL times

Please make sure your kids are participating and monitor any distracting behaviors

Importance of staying with their kids- fire or emergency

Younger grades- adults kneel during worship so kids can see

5.   Curriculum

Catch On

Do not go back to opening activities unless it is something you are using after large group

Prioritize activities according to the kids in your group- however we try to prioritize them. (Bible Story review, Bottom Line Activity, Prayer, Memory Verse Activity)

Personalize- talk about the importance of being prepared and thinking through examples from their own life to help their kids get to know them

Jump Start- kids asking questions in their group to direct them and their parents to attend (kept in all classrooms and prompted in the curriculum at least once a quarter). Don’t steal parents thunder.

6. KidStuf

1st Sunday of the month

Happens after 9am and 11am service hours

Parents pick kids up from UpStreet and attend together

7. Pick Up

Importance of kids staying seated during pick up time

Take the opportunity to say hi to parents as they come to pick up their child from your group. Getting to know the parents of your kids could help us find a sub for you when you are out ; )

8. Straighten Up

Make sure your area is picked up and read for the next hour

LG rooms with tubs- remember you share it with another group so keep it cleaned out

*Restroom- let coach or greeter know; no one in a bathroom w/child

*SGL commitment/overview sheet

*Kick Off Meeting: (list of kids, classroom placement, t-shirt)

Step 11: Staff will follow up the Monday after his second apprenticing. The Groups Director will personalize the “Apprentice 2 Follow Up” email. Staff will personalize this email as to whether the volunteer is ready to start immediately or not until August. Staff will decide if additional apprenticing is needed and schedule accordingly.

Apprentice 2 Follow Up Email:

Well, you’ve done it! You’ve jumped through every hoop to be a UpStreet volunteer. I know it’s a long, thorough process. Thank you for being patient. We just want to make sure we have great, qualified volunteers working with our children. We’re very excited that you will be serving with us.

When we talked, you said you’d like to start serving right away. I’d love to have you join (grade), Room .

will be your coach. (He/She) will be your main point of contact going forward. Of course, you are welcome to contact me, but (he/she) will be your team leader!  He/She is also the person you will inform when you are not available to serve on a Sunday. Here is ‘s contact information:


Cell phone:


When we talked, you said you’d like to start serving on Promotion Sunday, August 14. You’ll be receiving additional information in the mail as the date gets closer. We’ll also have a “Kickoff” event on August to give you everything you need to get started and to meet the team you’ll be serving with in UpStreet. Please save the date. You won’t want to miss it!

Over the summer, many of our volunteers go on vacation and we need extra help in the classrooms. Would you be willing to serve a few Sundays this summer? Please let me know if you would be available.

Can’t wait to have you on our team! It’s going to be a great year on UpStreet.


Step 12: Staff places the volunteer in his new position. Hooray! If the volunteer is starting right away, staff assigns him to a classroom, small group, and coach. She also sends the “Coach’s Intro” email so that he can be introduced to his team. The coach will have his contact information and take it from there!

Coaches Intro Email:


My name is and I am your UpStreet Coach. I am so excited you’re on our team and I’m looking forward to getting to know you!

Each week, I will send you an email to share announcements, updates, and (curriculum) for Sunday. If you know you will be unavailable on a Sunday, please contact me so I can make sure we have someone to replace you.

If you have any questions or need anything throughout the year, I am here for you.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!


Cell number


This is a 3 Part series. You might want to read Part 1 and Part 2.

Question: What is one thing you do to make sure that your new volunteers are prepared to do a great job?


  1. Michelle NeSmith says:

    I was wondering a little more about the “once a year ” push from Andy in adult worship service. I would be interested in the strategy he uses. Is there a download or podcast that is available for purchase from one of these services?

  2. Sara Richards says:

    I love your process of getting volunteers connected into serving. We are currently evaluating our process. I find the biggest struggle is managing all the information and contacts. Do you use a software or a system to help you and your staff keep track of which volunteers are in which step in the process?

    • Hi Sara,

      This can be a big problem for us too. We’ve tried many things and landed on an excel spreadsheet. This way multiple can view it and modify the information so that it’s always current. Not too fancy!


  3. Samantha Garcia says:

    I have been reading your process on new volunteers. Who would I talk to at your church to learn more on how your coaching works? We are in the process of redoing our new volunteer process and our volunteer training.

    • Hi Samantha,
      You can search our web site and find many articles about our coaches and what they do. In addition you can set up a time to come and tour and talk to some of our team. Let me know if you need more information.


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