Inviting Volunteers To Partner In Youth Ministry

One of the ongoing tasks of a leader is to find and "recruit" good leaders and volunteers.

Here is one suggested process when you need leaders or volunteers:

1. Identify the specific need that you are looking to fill.
What do you need? Small group leaders, drivers, planning and organising, parent supporters, connectors, cooks?
Be as specific about what you need as you can. I believe I heard it first from Doug Fields - A specific request gets a specific response. When you know what you need, you can then pray and look specifically to fill that need.

2. Write a brief job description
What do you want the person to do? What do you expect from that person and what are their boundaries?
Have it clear in your head and heart. What is the role, the responsibilities and the necessary attributes. Even if the role is not ministering directly with young people, character and faith are important. By having a responsibility, some authority will automatically be attributed to them.
I would recommend putting the attributes in a prioritized list as well. There should be some non-negotiable attributes. And others that are more wish-list. A volunteer with all of the essentials but half of the wish-list, is likely a better option than one who is the opposite.

3. Have an onboarding process in place
This does not have to be a complicated process with 6 months of training. But for NZ, the basics should include:

  • An understanding of their role, expectations and structure (who do they report to)
  • Health and Safety considerations, including appropriate behaviours around youth
  • Police checks
  • Training to get them set up for success

4. Pray and write a "hit list"
The process of finding volunteers and leaders should be bathed in prayer. So as you write your list of potential volunteers, pray and ask for wisdom, faith and inspiration. Then write your list of possible people that might fit the role. Remember to keep an open heart as someone might come to mind that you aren't sure about. Exercise wisdom but this might be God speaking.

5. Approach people with a positive attitude
There is a chance of rejection at this step. You need to let people make their own decisions without manipulation. But you should still approach people in an enthusiastic way. Tell them about the vision and opportunity for them to be involved. That attitude is easier for the first couple of people. It can wear thin if you have experienced a few rejections. Just trust God that he will bring the right people.
It is important that people know process and expectations early in the process. Then they know what happens moving forward.

6. Train and encourage your volunteers
This is talked about in an earlier post about encouragement but it still holds true. It is easier to keep a good trained volunteer than to replace a volunteer, so make sure you communicate, encourage and keep them up-skilled.

 

What is your process? What would you add or take away from the above process? We would love to hear your thoughts.