These days, the internet offers excellent resources to train people for ministries at your church. Over the next few weeks, we will present posts about online resources — some that we have produced and some produced by others –for helping people at your church learn to participate effectively in these ministries. The lists aren’t exhaustive, but if you are looking for online resources to help train people to participate in any of these ministries, these are good places to begin.
We invite you to pass this post, or the resources that it mentions, along to the people responsible for organizing these ministries at your church.
1. You can earn your ChurchNext Certificate in Vestry Leadership by taking four classes in different aspects of vestry leadership from experienced church leaders. Discuss your ideas about vestry leadership with other members or future members of vestries. The For Groups versions of the classes can be particularly useful at vestry retreats and orientations.(You can, of course, take these classes individually as well if you want to learn about some particular aspect of vestry leadership.)
2. The Episcopal Church Foundation publishes its Vestry Papers and Vital Practices online. Find literally hundreds of different ideas, resources, and suggestions for different aspects of vestry ministry.
3. Some dioceses include information that can be of use to vestries on the diocesan website. We recommend looking on your diocese’s website and seeing what online resources it provides.
1. We offer a course designed to train lectors in the ministry of proclaiming God’s word in church. It’s called Reading and Praying in the Church: The Office of Lector with Tim Spannaus, and in about 45 minutes, it covers everything covered in standard lector training — and more. Use the For Groups version of the class and add some practice time, and your church’s lector training sessions should be covered.
2. Denise Thompson, a well-respected trainer of lectors in the Catholic tradition from Illinois, runs a series of lector training videos on her YouTube channel. Many of these videos cover subjects that lectors encounter across denominations (rate of articulation, pronunciation resources, etc.) Lectors can use the videos in training or to address particular topics that interest them.
3. This isn’t really a training resource, but if you want to recommend a good site for learning to pronounce some of the more difficult words in scripture, try Net Ministries’ Biblical Words Pronunciation Guide.
4. Many congregations like to create their own training videos and post them on YouTube. The process is not difficult; if you have access to a smartphone and a tripod, you can make a video that will serve your purpose well. To learn how to make video that will look and sound clear on YouTube, click here or here . If you would like to learn how to post your video to YouTube, click here.
We hope that you find these resources helpful. If you know of any good resources that you can recommend to help people build or train parishioners in any of these ministries, please comment. We would love to share them.
Coming soon: Resources for the Altar Guild and the Flower Team.