Whether you are about to run VBS and need to go over proper safety protocols, inform people of the proper way to use the security system to lock up the church at night, or even general purposes for those who serve in the worship team, training volunteers and staff for your church can be a difficult but necessary task.
The downside is that training takes time. If anyone is sick or on vacation, it takes twice as long. If you have volunteers sign on afterwards, you have to do another one. This takes time, money, and resources to hold these events.
So why not consider a digital alternative?
The first recommendation out there that I have use is an open source project called Moodle. A complete and robust system that is the standard for K-12 school systems, universities, and nearly all other education platforms. The platform allows you to verify people have taken specific trainings, require login access, and give pressing updates as it comes in. Did I mention it’s open source? As in free.
The downside is unless you are a multisite campus and extremely organized, it is way more than anything you will ever need. Setup will take quite a while, you have to locally host it, and then you will need to have some extensive training for those who run the online courses.
Slack is a great communication tool without all of the distractions of a Facebook group. (I honestly do not know how people expect their team to pay attention and stay on topic via social media groups.) Private channels allow for specific people groups to converse so you can divide the group up into teams, at the same time allowing for public and private messages. Again, free!
Unfortunately, this platform is best for a stream of consciousness, not for organizing and training. After your annual training, this might work for you, but do not expect to get anything substantial communicated for a big event.
Impart is the best of both options before it. A communication tool for your team throughout the year, but also a perfect platform to ensure your team is trained for exactly what you need them to know. It uses video as the initiation for the training but allows for dialogue afterwards.
Here is the reason why this platform was designed by its creator, Scott Magdalein:
I built Impart because I need what you need. A simple tool to communicate what’s most important to my team and a way to know that they (1) saw it and (2) understood it…
I currently use Impart to communicate with my team of 6 volunteers at church. I send a weekly video update to everyone on the team with information they need to know before our next church service. And I ask a few followup questions to make sure they understood the material.
We only see each other once a week for a couple hours, so it’s impossible to communicate everything they need to know in that short time. Emails weren’t being read for one reason or another (probably because emails are boring) and I had way more to communicate than would fit in an email, anyway.
If you are interested in getting a free account from them, check out their site here and better train and communicate with your team.