Andy Lawrenson sent in this great article about volunteers and building a team. Good stuff in here, would love to add your thoughts to guest post week here on MTDB as well just and send in your article.
I often have conversations with youth leaders doing youth ministry all alone. This is a bad place to be. For liability reasons, but more importantly for effectiveness in ministering to the needs of students. Perhaps a lone youth leader can effectively minister to a handful of students? Jesus led twelve and really invested and focused on the lives of three. We may think a little more highly of ourselves than we ought if we believe we can minister to the whole youth group no matter the size.
The question I am asked is, “How do you build a team?” In addition to the great youth ministry books out there with some wonderful practical help on building a team, here are a few of my thoughts:
Start with One, find one person in your church’s congregation that you feel from your knowledge of them that they would be a great start to a team approach, perhaps a parent of a youth, a college student, or even an older adult. Start with one and then approach them and invite them personally. Pleas from the podium rarely have results. It’s harder for them to say “no” to your face.
Expectations, list your expectations of your team members. Make sure to clearly define what will be expected from them in their position on the team. It is frustrating to have a job without a job description so make sure that for your team members know their job description. If their ministry is to simply sit with students during youth group make sure they understand to sit “with” the students. Give them clear guidelines on dealing with disruptive students.
Training, most of us receive the bulk of our training in youth ministry while on the job often the same goes with our youth ministry team members. Taking the whole team to an annual conference would be great but for many this is not feasible. Look for opportunities for training within driving distance, one-day seminars. Buy books that your team members can check out and read. Use e-mail and send our team links to great youth ministry articles and then ask for the team to reply with their thoughts. Utilize team meetings and mix in 20 or 30 minutes of training.
Reward, find some fun ways to express your thanks to your team. Get together and put away the agenda and have some fun together as a team. If ministry isn’t fun then ministers won’t last long in the ministry. If the youth ministry team is having a great time serving together it will be a magnet to others in the church.