In Episode 5 of The Youth Ministry Mindset Podcast, a limited series with voices from Alpha and YDisciple, Joshua, Annie, and Jordan talk about how to empower volunteers to become leaders and create a successful ministry. Join us as we continue the conversation on youth ministry in a post-COVID world.
INTRODUCTION: Reproducibility and Empowering Adults
It can be easy for a youth group to be built around the youth minister’s talent. Empowering adults to be a part of the ministry can create a culture where all teens are known, seen, and loved.
What qualities should be sought after in a leader? They need relational intelligence; do they have a heart for young people? They need spiritual velocity; are they passionately in love with Jesus and following Him every day? They have to be teachable and not stuck to “the way we’ve always done it.”
When I know what to look for, where do I find them? The best leaders recruit other leaders, and they will know people the youth minister doesn’t know. Ask parents who they want to mentor their children. And ask students who’s already influencing them. Create community, and invite their community into the mission.
The standard youth ministry career is 18 months; we need to change this. It takes three years to start a successful youth ministry that empowers the parish. Our actions must build trust in the community.
We need to find multiple leaders and help continue to form them. Our youth need consistency, so try to have two group leaders. Not everyone has gifts for youth ministry, and that’s okay. We might need to redirect some leaders to another ministry where they will thrive. This is not saying, “The church doesn’t want you.” This is saying, “There is a different place for you in the Church.” So we hand them off to another ministry, and we have to follow up afterward.
We can change the language to change the culture, even as small as the difference between calling group leaders mentors vs. volunteers.
ADVICE FOR VOLUNTEERS
Do for a few what you wish you could do everyone. It’s not detrimental to everyone else; it is a victory for the ones you do serve. You are necessary. God has called you to do this ministry, and this ministry cannot happen to its fullest potential without you. To make disciples, you need to be a disciple. It is just as important for you to have a daily prayer life as it is for us to encourage youth to do the same.
- Ali Hoffman – alihoffman.co
- The Lost Art of Disciple Making by LeRoy Elms
- World Youth Day – a worldwide encounter with the Pope for youth ages 16-35 to encounter Christ, celebrated in a different country about every three years. Worldyouthday.com
4:45 “As the ministry grows, it needs to feel smaller.”
13:11 “We as the whole church have a responsibility to anchor with them and to assist them in lifelong transition.”
25:25 “The best leaders out there, the ones who are most attractive to be employed, are the ones who actually replace themselves really well.”
28:55 “It required no planning, just attention”