Monday, May 20, 2013

Awesome Training Tools: Ministry Grid Review

This month I had the privilege of attending a kickoff web cast for two new ministry tools from Lifeway. First, let me say that as an individual, the event itself was top notch. I was beyond blessed by the level of hospitality and care I received from the leaders at Lifeway. I have gained some fabulous new friends in ministry, who are doing some amazing things.

As a ministry leader, I am thrilled to share a little about these two new tools. I hesitate to call them products as I think it devalues their relational capabilities. We have all seen the items at conferences that we have purchased and have let seen sit on our shelf when the excitement dies down. These do not fall in that category. As a leader I am always looking for tools that make my tasks...well, easier! We have tedious tasks, and if I can streamline them effectively so that my time can be used more efficiently, then sign me up!

First I want to mention Ministry Grid! (the other tool will be mentioned in a later post) We all have amazing teams of willing volunteers, but at the end of the day, we need to train them and keep them current on the ever changing standards of what we do. I know personally with the amount of volunteers I currently have, it is pretty much impossible to get them all in one room for a day of training. Training days provide two things for me: 1. a relational piece, a time to simply ask how people are and stay current in their lives as well as offer them a responsibility free time of fellowship. 2. Training! Educating them on the changes and expectations for our ministry.

When we have training days, we usually have a wide range of topics and do our best to cover them all. But what about those intensive topics that only apply to two or three attendees? Or the bathroom policy that changes for every age group?

Ministry Grid fixes a multitude of my training issues. It allows me to design a track of training sessions that my teams can complete online, at their own convenience. I can upload my own training videos like "Using our check-in system" or "Visitor care" or simply choose from a very large data base of training videos. The best part of this for me is the ability to tailor the tracks since we have seasonal program volunteers, as well as regular format volunteers. When workers log in they can see how far they are in their track as well as earn badges for completed studies (for those ever competitive kidmin peeps) The other feature I love is the personal devotions or personal spiritual care. Often times workers get caught up on a Sunday morning, maybe they never made it to worship, here they can also be spiritually fed as a team. I can set up a training or link Sunday's sermon right to our training page.

I know what you are thinking, how impersonal! Right? But imagine this, your people have finished a track on... policy. (oh fun!) Your entire team did it! woohoo! So you call them together (rewarding them with warm Krispy Kremes for their efforts in "continued kidmin education") and instead of a broad vague training you have a room full of people with the same knowledge ready to ask questions! Instead of the lost puzzled faces, you have a room of fellowship and discussion. This is how I personally intend on using this tool! Our training sessions will become a debrief of training that has occurred and an opportunity to clarify and of course build strong team relationships.

The best part is the fact that Lifeway has made this available for whatever lay position or ministry position you can think of. Janitors, parking lot attendants, ushers and so on. Whether you are a church of 35 or 35,000 there is a structure that works for you. Pricing is built on your church size, which means quality training is available for every budget, and might I mention, very reasonable.

Below is the link to watch a free video. Hopefully you find it useful! I would love to hear from those who try Ministry Grid.

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