September may seem a long way away, buts it’s a good time to start finding people to join the team for next year. Depending on your situation, finding people might be easy; it’s finding the right people that can be a lot more work. It may seem early to be looking for volunteers, but in my experience, the longer you wait, the more reactionary your decision making becomes, but being proactive allows for you bring together a focused team of people who are called to serve and will take it seriously. Here are a few things to consider when looking for new volunteers for the ministry.
Be Selective- Its early, and you have the chance to start hand picking the people you want to start talking to, it could be young adults, young marrieds but keep your eye out. I remember hearing someone say that when looking for volunteers they would look for people who brought their Bible to Church and closed their eyes when they Prayed (hilarious). For me, its going up to people and planting the seed by saying “I think you would be a great youth leader, have you ever considered it?” Choosing people now means that you won’t have to settle for people you are unsure about later to meet a need.
Give them the vision- Where is your ministry going, what are its core values. People want to be a part of something, and if it’s a ground up rebuild, the people you need are different than adding to an existing team. Invite them out to a youth night so they can see the ministry in action, no commitment, just experiencing the culture. This is also the time to let them know the time commitment they are making and the basic expectations of being a leader. You want people all in, but they need to know in advance what being all in looks like.
Give them options- Not everyone is going to be a small group leader, but if they have a heart to serve, give them other options. We have a hand out that includes eight different options of how they can serve and includes expectations as well as the value that will be added to the ministry by that person filling that role. Its likely that most outsiders would think that to be involved in youth ministry means that you have to have a small group, and that you can’t volunteer unless you are willing to do so and this is not always the case.
Give them time- This is where being proactive pays off, because now the person has time to pray and consider this opportunity to serve. We ask leaders to sign up for 11 months and they are free agents in the summer and ask them to re-sign by the second week of August. The best leaders are the ones who God has called and committing to serving every week is a big deal, and one that should not be taken lightly. Pray for them as they consider, but let them seek the Lord guidance on leadership.
Recruiting leaders now makes life easier in the fall as you are being proactive and not reactive. But the message it sends to the people you ask is that you see a gifting in them, and you feel that they would be a great role model and spiritual mentor to your students. Great leaders are hard to find, so think about starting the search now.
Geoff Stewart is the Pastor of Jr & Sr High School for Journey Student Ministries at Peace Portal Alliance Church and regularly contributes GUEST POSTS to MTDB. You can, too! See how right here.