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A Valuable Uthmin Volunteer Doesn’t…

 —  July 7, 2013 — 1 Comment

“I promise to do my duty to God and my country, to something-something-something, and to obey the Girl Scout laws.” This is the first oath/vow I can remember from my childhood days. I was in first grade and had just started Brownies. Good times.

FOR ALL YOU AMAZING YOUTH MINISTRY VOLUNTEERS: I’m not saying you should take an oath (though signing a covenant is a good idea) but if one was created towards being the kind of volunteer your church’s youth ministry needs, here are some of the things I might put in the vows:

*I promise that I will never back out of a youth trip with less than 7 days to go. No, make that a month! (Either way, its really hard on the balance of the trip because finding adults to go was hard enough for the leadership much less at the last minute.)

*I promise that I will not make the dress code harder to enforce by being one of the people the youth director has to enforce it with. (Come on, this is too simple, people! You’re not working with the youth ministry to find your spouse or become a teenager again, so why not just be comfortable and not a clothing problem. Simple rule of thumb: if you’re wondering if its OK, don’t wear it.)

*I promise that I will not try to get the kids to like me by breaking the rules and guidelines. (Again, this is simple. It doesn’t work, really, and just makes you more of an example of what NOT to do rather than a role model. If lights out is at 11:00p, flip the switch at 11pm. Simple enough.)

*I promise that I will not “wing my way” through a youth lesson or small group. I will not study it on my smartphone at each traffic light while on the way to teach said lesson. (Jesus himself said, “Could you not watch with Me for one hour?” Find an hour out of the week’s 168 and prep, ok?)

*I promise not to be a freak-out adult providing the uthmin with more drama that the HS girls usually dodownload. (This is characterized by the vols that over-emphasize everything, get a little too high-maintenance about stuff, and spend more time with the youth director than they do with the youth. Let it go! I don’t know what it is, but just let it go! Unless it involves someone missing out on their eternal salvation, chill out.)

What would you add, ministry peeps?


Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro

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Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry to youth and youth workers in the local church since…well, a long time – 30+ years. Her humorous, straightforward style keeps her busy presenting and coaching at conferences, training events, camps, mission trips, retreats, churches, etc. Her latest books are, “Thriving Youth Ministry in Smaller Churches” and “99 Thoughts for the Smaller Church Youth Worker,” published by Group/Simply Youth Ministry. Stephanie is a contributing author to several youth ministry resources in addition to her regular column “Smaller Church Youth Ministry” in Group Magazine. Stephanie is Senior Consultant for Mark DeVries’ Ministry Architects and the director for their Small Church Ministry Architects division. She and her hubby, Steve, live in Houston, TX. All 7 kids are grown and out – praise God!

One response to A Valuable Uthmin Volunteer Doesn’t…

  1. Great list Stephanie! I might add: *I promise not to hijack every lesson to support my own political agenda. I once had a middle school Sunday school teacher who would somehow weave gay marriage and abortion into EVERY lesson, no matter how off topic it was. Being there to help disciple kids is not about indoctrinating them with the ideology of your own political party (whether conservative or progressive), and some discussions are better suited for a high school or college age group.

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