It is not easy to retain youth volunteers and small group leaders.
We live in a fast-paced society, so people have limited time to spare to volunteer, and volunteering with youth is an enormous and somewhat frightening task for some adults.
Teenagers have their own language, and their world is changing every day. So, when an adult—who may have a family of their own—has spare time, their first desire may not be serving in youth ministry.
Understanding this reality is an important aspect if you want to retain youth leaders.
After all, you are looking for faithful volunteers, not more employees. With that said, we have outlined three important things to keep in mind as you seek to find more volunteer leaders and retain them in your ministry.
- Lead With a Vision
People volunteer because they have a desire to use their gifts and utilize their time to help and to pour into the younger generation.
They may have heard you cast a vision in the beginning of their volunteer journey, but it is integral that you continue to cast this vision.
If you have a weekly huddle before service, remind your leaders why they are serving.
Remind them of the opportunity they have to serve teenagers and build relationships with them.
Remind them of the difficulties teens are facing and how they can be a guide to them in their journey.
Lastly, remind them to have fun! Encourage them to laugh and play games with the students. They may be there to serve, but they can have a good time while doing it!
- Love Your Leaders
Your leaders need to feel cared for, seen, and loved.
They may be there for students, but they are also there to build relationships and friendships with other leaders. They are not robotic volunteers, and they should not feel used.
Love your leaders by having events just for them.
Love your leaders by being there for them in the worst and best times.
Meet with your leaders one on one and ask about their personal lives.
Pray intentionally for your leaders, and ask God how you can love them better.
You may be a pastor to students, but you are also a pastor to your youth leaders.
- Listen Carefully
As you lead and love your leaders, listen to them closely.
Ask for their thoughts on the student ministry.
Ask them if they see a more efficient way of doing something.
Show them that their opinions are heard and valued because they should be!
Your leaders may see something in the ministry that you would have never seen. They are also building relationships with students that you may not have, so by listening to your leaders, you are further understanding the lives of the students in your youth ministry and learning how to serve them better.
- Check out Feed Lead and gain more practical insight on youth ministry.
- Follow @feedyouthministry on social media and join a community of youth pastors and leaders who are in this journey together!
- Reach out to other youth pastors and ask them how they serve and retain their youth leaders.
- Check out our Insights Survey, “Know Your Volunteers” so you can better gauge your volunteer’s experience!
- The Feed team would love to connect with you as you seek to lead others! Reach out to us at [email protected] to find out how we can partner with and support you in your ministry.