How to Find and Train Allies

July 6, 2019 /
Faith & Finances Class

As you know by now, successfully running any long-term ministry is a team effort—and Faith & Finances is no different. As you get started with your first Faith & Finances class, allies are one of the key roles you’ll want to fill.

As participants go through your 12-week financial education class, they’ll need lots of relational support and encouragement along the way. That’s where allies come in!

Allies are volunteers who join a Faith & Finances class to provide the supportive relationships that participants need to get the most out of their experience.

If you walk into any Faith & Finances class, you might have a hard time telling which people are allies, and which people are participants. That’s by design!

Allies are there to humbly walk alongside participants, listening and supporting them as they overcome financial obstacles in their lives. Often, allies emerge from Faith & Finances having learned a thing or two about money themselves!

Finding and training the right people to serve as allies can be a challenge. But over the years, we’ve learned a few things that can help you recruit the right people for the job.

As you search for potential allies, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Look for volunteers with life experience and time on their hands. Empty nesters and retirees who want to give back often make strong allies. An energetic leader with 3 young children may love the idea of Faith & Finances, but they probably can’t commit to a weekly class at their kids’ bedtime.
  • Invite people who are good encouragers and listeners. Let potential allies know that sharing their personal experiences, laughing, and learning others’ stories are a big part of class time.
  • Decrease the intimidation factor. Some people don’t think they’re qualified to serve as allies because they’re not a financial guru. But the truth is that their relational skills are far more important than their expertise with money. 
  • Maintain gender balance. Class participants often connect more readily with allies who are the same gender. Nationally, the average Faith & Finances participant is more likely to be female than male, but men are sometimes more comfortable volunteering as allies on this topic than women.
  • If you can, host a 1-hour orientation to Faith & Finances that introduces people to key concepts and allows them to self-select their role in helping you with the class. We have the whole script ready for you to use!
  • Offer training sessions to introduce new allies to the basic concepts of helping without hurting and prepare them for their role. Our Equipping Allies curriculum will help you do just that!

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