Whenever I work with youth, I hear from them and their youth ministers that they are stressed out. Youth face pressure to succeed in their academics,...
Is Your Ministry Too Complicated For Your Volunteers?
It was the end of the night, and I was talking to some of my new volunteers. I asked them, “How did it go?”, one of them replied, “It was great, this wasn’t so hard!” I was pleasantly surprised because, typically, you don’t hear that when it comes to leading a group of middle school boys. But, the leader was excited, pumped, and ready to go back next week.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Sometimes we get a response that sounds more like, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” and that’s okay too because serving in ministry is messy. But, as leaders, we need to make sure it doesn’t get so messy that serving in our ministry feels impossible.
One of our goals as leaders is to make serving in ministry accessible, and if we are going to do that, we need to make sure we:
Diversify The Opportunities To Serve
The idea of being a catechist or small group leader can be intimidating for someone who has never served younger generations. People might also show reluctance because they doubt their competency when it comes to discipleship. To help people ease into serving in your ministry, you need to create opportunities that are:
If people aren’t ready to jump into leading a group, ask them to take on smaller but significant tasks like:
- Ordering food for your program
- Setting up tables and chairs
- Buying supplies during the week
- Organizing your resources and equipment
Some people love doing those tasks, and it will expose them to your overall vision. It will help them learn more about what you are trying to accomplish. They’ll see the impact your ministry has and can lead to further opportunities that are a little more intensive.
Bring Clarity To Its Purpose
It’s easy to lose sight of why your ministry matters, especially when it gets complicated. Whether teens are unruly or the schedule takes over, your team needs reminders as to why what they do matters. Remind them by providing:
- Thank you notes that celebrate the big picture
- Job descriptions that they review every year they commit
- Regular training opportunities
Don’t assume they know it or that it’s easy to remember. Helping your ministers remember why what they do matters will help them get through the messiness that ministry brings.
Provide Training and Accountability
When your volunteers are confident, then they will know how to navigate through the difficult seasons of ministry. Confidence comes from knowing what to do and remembering that you are not alone. It’s so essential to train your volunteers and share with them what you know about ministry.
It’s essential to create a community amongst your team. The collaboration will help your volunteers work together through problems and obstacles. If you aren’t building a dynamic team of volunteers through training and accountability, then things will fall apart.
Invest In Their Well-Being
You not only want smart volunteers but healthy ones as well. You are responsible for assisting with their spiritual growth so that they can be disciples who are growing disciples. Make sure your volunteers are discovering resources to help them in their spiritual life. Introduce them to retreats, devotionals, and spiritual exercises that have helped you.
Get personal and grab a coffee or a bite to eat. Ask your leaders about their lives, pray with them and for them. Not only will you be showing them your gratitude, but how they should be serving the next generation.
Ministry is challenging enough; let’s not make it impossible. Help your team see their purpose and value. Invest in them to become strong leaders and shining examples of what it means to follow Christ.
How do you make serving in your ministry as simple as possible?
Want to learn more about building a dynamic team of volunteers? Check out this course available on MYM U: