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5 Tips for Better Volunteer Staff Meetings

 —  April 21, 2014 — 6 Comments

If you are not meeting with your volunteer team, stop right now and plan on doing just that! Getting together is vital for the health of your ministry. Here are 5 tips on how to make your meetings worth your time and theirs.

5 Tips for better volunteer meetings

1) Make this a regular part of your calendar. If you have a regular time that you always meet, it becomes part of the rhythm of what you all do together. Whether this is every month or every week before your midweek program, you need to have this on your calendar. When you don’t have it on your calendar 2 things happen. 1) You rarely meet because you don’t think about it. 2) When you do think about it, you send out a Facebook message or group text to everyone a few days before hoping that everyone will be available (and few show).

2) Feed your team! We all love to eat. We all have to eat. Why not do that together? Having food at your meeting does several things for you. First of all, it is a great incentive for your team to show up. Secondly, it shows that you care about them. Third, it is one less thing for them to worry about when they are getting off work and coming directly to your meeting.

3) Have a plan. Don’t come into your staff meeting winging it. Put some thought into what you are going to say and do. It is not a good idea to come up with that plan 30 minutes before your meeting either. Know what you are going to do and what you are going to talk about. Put time and effort into this! Your team needs you to lead them well and coming unprepared tells them that they are not worth the effort. This will quickly give them reason to not show up at future meetings if it is a regular habit of yours.

4) Do some training. Most of us, if we were honest, would jump at the chance to go to a training conference of some sort every year. (Side note: The Simply Youth Ministry Conference (SYMC) is my absolute favorite conference! I am not being paid to say that…no one asked me to say that…it is just plain truth…be watching for updates on the new format for next year.) Knowing that we want training, it should be evident that our leaders want/need training as well.

Take some time in the “slower” months of summer and come up with a list of potential training needs your volunteers have. You may even want to put out a questionnaire to them of what they would like some training on. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • How to lead a student to Christ
  • Do’s and Dont’s for leading small groups
  • How to deal with students who are hurting

You could also find other people to do your training for you, if you plan it well enough in advance. I am sure you are an amazing and riveting speaker, but occasionally it is good to hear from a different voice, especially if they are an expert in that area.

5) Plan out your calendar. Take some time to look at upcoming events and spend some time talking through them. You may even break your team into groups to plan some of the events or collaborate on your next event together. Don’t try to do all of that on your own. When your volunteers are involved with the planning of an event they have more ownership of it and are more likely to be part of it (this goes for students too BTW).

– Erik w/ a “k” Williams

Erik with a "K"

Erik with a "K"


Father of 4 and husband of 1. He has been in youth ministry for over 20 years. Loves to surf, snowboard, run and hang with his family. Often speaks at camps and schools around the world, leads worship and has enjoyed doing improv over the years. Most recently he authored his first solo book project "Y is for Youth Worker," which can be found at simplyyouthministry.com. Erik w/a "k" calls Oregon home (cuz that's where his heart is...awww).

6 responses to 5 Tips for Better Volunteer Staff Meetings

  1. This is something I’ve been working on this last year. I did a very poor job of meeting with my leaders for several years. If you just want chaperones, meetings are only mildly important (and you’ll likely have lots of turn over or weirdos). If you want youth leaders, meetings are crucial.

    • Erik with a "K"
      Erik with a “K” April 21, 2014 at 2:55 pm


      I love hearing you pastors turning the corner and making this a priority. You are absolutely right, just chaperones don’t need a whole lot of meetings except for to be told where to go. And how to do what they’re supposed to do.

      Investing in your leaders is really investing in your students!

  2. Hey Erik, Im glad for this sort of encouragement to new youth leaders to value you this in such way. What is sad is that many guys have posted something like this or similar and few give ideas of what to cover in training. I was thankful you at least included 3 possible things to train. I would encourage your next post to be a share of what sort of things you have trained them in. Thanks

    • Erik with a "K"
      Erik with a “K” April 26, 2014 at 12:50 am


      Great idea! I will definitely plan on doing that in a future post. Thanx for the encouragement to do so. I think that is one of the great values of the comment sections on blogs. If readers interact, the blog becomes more and more a place that meets real needs.

      –erik w/a “K”

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