So, now you have cleaned up the mess from last year, and you’ve said ‘thank you’ to your great team of volunteers who served faithfully through the year. Now it’s time to turn your focus to the new program year that will kick off in the fall.

A great way to prepare for the new program year is to compile all of the information that you will use to get your team, both staff and volunteers, on the same page. Share on X

At Ministry Architects we recommend that you finish your recruiting for your fall staffing needs around May 1st with some training scheduled shortly thereafter. There are some key components of what you will want to share with your team every year.

What YOUR Team Needs to Know

Vision – First, you’ll want to make sure that your team knows your overall purpose, what it is that they as a team are working to accomplish. A clear mission statement, core values by which you operate, goals for the ministry, and the organizational structure should all be reviewed and shared with the team.

Calendar – Your 12-month calendar for August, 2019 – July, 2020 should be front and center. That calendar will guide everyone’s work and enable your team to get all the important dates on their personal calendars. You’ll also have it ready to share with youth and parents as the year kicks off.

Curriculum Review – Your team will want to know about the content for the coming year. A strong team will need to have its materials well in advance in order to achieve maximum impact. And seeing the overall picture will help your team to see how it all fits together.

Volunteer Needs – Your calendar will enable you to identify all of the very important volunteer duties that must be filled for the year – everything from group leaders to food preparers to bus drivers to major event coordinators, etc. And you’ll be able to recruit all the pieces, before you get to the fall, that are not in place already.

Policies and Expectations – Your team needs to know what the rules and expectations are as they serve in your ministry. Preparing these for your training experience will ensure that your team will be in tip top shape.

Job Descriptions – Many ministry team members serve in volunteer capacities in which everyone assumes what the duties of the role are. Make sure that all the members of your team know what they are supposed to be doing through clear, results-based job descriptions. (Need some help? Click HERE to access helpful resources on the Ministry Architects website.)

Participation Goals – Every event and setting should have a participation goal, the number of participants toward which you are shooting and planning to achieve.

Game Plans – Game plans become a part of what you do so that you can accomplish your goals, e.g. a game plan that enables you to reach your participation goal for a certain event. Game plans enable you to go beyond just hoping that you get there. (Hope, while it is a wonderful thing, is not a plan!)

Major Event Notebooks – Major event notebooks enable you to pass on valuable information from one year to the next, especially as you repeat certain events. Having those notebooks in hand also make recruiting next year’s leaders MUCH easier.

Financial Plan – You may not try to lay out all of the details of your fiscal plan to every member of your team, but there will probably be important aspects of it that would be helpful to certain team members.


If you get all of these pieces in place, you will be well on your way toward a successful fall season, carrying you into a fantastic year.

If you want to explore more about how to get your team in shape for a great season or year, OR if you would like sample team job descriptions, email me at I’d love to spend some time helping you to prepare your team.

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