recruiting new volunteers is one of the last things you should focus on. God will bring you who you need if you keep your eyes and ears open. the trick is keeping quality leaders around long enough to make an impact. between my wife and myself, we have over 30 years of experience as volunteer youth leaders, and we have no plans to slow down. one of the keys to our longevity is the extraordinary care we’ve received throughout our “volunteer careers” from the paid-to-be-gooders (i.e. full time staff/pastors). as we thought through the things that have nourished us the most as volunteers over the years, we saw three clear categories emerge. if you will consider these as you lead your team, we think you will see some amazing things happen in your ministry.
care for us
- know us. pay attention to what makes us thrive and what drives us crazy (and be ready to step in before that happens). we love it when you give us our favorite candy or soda, or a gift card to our favorite restaurant.
my first cover article! i actually wrote this early in the summer, but formatting this slick-looking resource takes awhile. the deadline was way ahead of its publication date. this article is directed toward full-timers leading a team of volunteer leaders, from the perspective of a long-time volunteer. i got a “thank-you” gift basket from student life the very day i was wrestling with whether to take the position in missouri. it came as a timely affirmation that no matter the direction my career was about to take, i also had a valuable voice to add to the larger conversation of youth ministry.
head over and read the article (you might need to zoom in with the reader…), and let me know what you think. what makes you as a volunteer (or your volunteers, if you’re a paid leader) feel valued?