For most youth ministries, the summer months are very busy. A lot of youth ministers are conducting summer camps, organizing youth retreats, leading mission trips, and taking youth on special outings. No youth leader can do it alone and even if you are one of those who think you can do it alone, don’t.
Youth Pastors Need to Build a Youth Ministry Team
Building up a committed team of leaders and helpers for youth ministry will provide you valuable insights, additional talents, and more eyes, hands and footwork to keep the youth program running smoothly. As you invest in leaders it also develops shared ownership of the youth program that insures it continues effectively for many years to come even if you move on to a different church or ministry yourself.
Here are just a few of the benefits of building a youth ministry team:
When parents and church leaders are part of the team and understand the goals and programs, it makes it so much easier to communicate those goals to the congregation as well as avoid misunderstandings.
Involvement generates commitment. When people see themselves as stakeholders in the ministry, they tend to be more committed to making it successful.
It’s much easier for a group of people to attend to the varied and sometimes overwhelming needs of youth and show care on a much more personal level than for a single youth leader trying to care for a large youth group. For youth, time is important and the larger the youth group, the less time you will have for individuals in the group.
So how can you get started building a youth ministry team?
In the book, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, he explains several powerful ideas for any company or organization. One of those principles is very appropriate for youth ministry “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats – then figure out where to drive it.” Getting the right team in the right roles is the most important part of building a youth ministry team.
Here are 17 places to find potential youth leaders for your youth ministry team.
Conduct a Talent / Interest Surveys for the entire congregation. Have the various roles and responsibilities for all church ministries listed. When new people join he church as members, also ask them to fill out Talent/ Interest Surveys. You’ll want to get to know them and observe their Christian walk and commitment over time, but that is true of anyone you consider for a youth ministry role.
2. Committed Church Members
Ask currently active Bible Study or Sunday school members to become youth leaders. Ask current cell group members to become youth leaders. People who are already committed to the church often make great additions to the youth ministry team.
3. Ask for Recommendations
Ask the current youth leaders to recommend Potential Leaders from the congregation. Chances are, the youth leaders you have now also know other friends in the church who would be great leaders. You can also ask the teens in your church, “Who in the church do you think would make a great youth leader?” Youth are very aware of the people in the church who already make them feel welcome and loved. Ask Sunday school members (Or Bible Study Leaders) to recommend potential leaders. They are very aware of those in their studies and classes that have a mature or growing faith that would be great Bible Teachers or Sunday School Teachers. Additionally, ask the current church leadership to recommend potential youth leaders. Their circle of relationships may include many people that are not too familiar to you, but who would make great leaders. Don’t forget to ask deacons or elders in addition to the other pastoral leaders.
4. Existing Short term Programs
One of these is Vacation Bible School. Many churches hold these programs for children in the church. It’s a short commitment and usually gets a lot of volunteers. Some of those working with the older children might make great youth leaders as well.
5. Previous Leaders
Many people serve in leadership positions and then at times take break due to family or work commitments and other various reasons. In time they are often willing to jump back into a ministry position if asked.
6. Committed people who aren’t already doing something.
It sometimes seem that there are the few same people in the church doing all the work. Ministry leaders see their commitment and talents and give them more to do. But sometimes, there are others who aren’t really ambitious enough to volunteer who just need a little nudge to get them involved. It’s much easier to teach a committed member a few skills in ministering to youth than to teach commitment to someone who has the interest but lacks the commitment.
7. Existing Lists
Take out the Church membership roll, the Sunday School Rosters, Cell group rosters, participant lists in various church training programs and ministry opportunities and read through the names. If you just try to list form your own memory you will miss many of the precious souls who are often present, but not foremost in your thoughts. Many of these are valuable gems simply waiting to be shaped and polished!
8. Returning Church Members
Previous students who have gone off to college and come back for a summer break or having completed their college education often make excellent youth leaders. They may need a little more guidance but they make up for the lack of experience with an abundance of energy. Returning servicemen and women also make great youth leaders. They typically are very disciplined and work very hard.
9. Persons attending training conferences and conventions
The fact that these people are taking the extra effort to grow and mature their faith makes them good candidates for potential youth positions. It may also reflect a more flexible schedule that is helpful when serving youth.
10. Training Courses
Offer a training course for youth workers, parents, or anyone else that wants to better understand youth. Those that attend the course obviously must have an interest and some of them might make great additions to your youth ministry team. You can offer general leadership classes or potential Teacher classes etc. as well.
A Final Note
I wanted to give you 10 places to find youth leaders and help for your youth ministry, but as I started writing more ideas came to mind. Simply remember, we are one body of Christ with many parts and we are all different but also all needed. Pray for God’s guidance to show you those to approach and that he would steer their hearts toward places to serve in your ministry. Personally, I believe that there is a place for everyone in the church. We just need to get the right people into the right seats and let God do the driving on our journey heavenward!
Have more ideas? Why not share them in the comments below. Where do you go to find leaders for youth youth ministry team?
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