Volunteers are so varied.  Some are fantastic, if we were honest, we’d admit they’re more skilled than we are.  Others can be more frustrating.  During any year in youth ministry there will be times in ministry when volunteers who also feel called to youth ministry don’t quite see eye-to-eye with you.

Here are 5 ideas to help you and your volunteer move forward and hopefully closer.

  1. Listen: Many times the volunteer just wants to be heard. They feel called to ministry, they feel they’re a member of the ministry team and simply want to share their ideas with you. Hopefully with a team of volunteers you’re not the only one God is speaking to!
  2. Share your vision: Sometimes volunteers get left out of the decision making processes and are unclear as to why you’ve implemented something new or are heading in a new direction.  After meeting with and listening to your volunteer it may become clear that they’re not on the same page as you.  Take the time to communicate the heart behind the change.
  3. Include someone else: Sometimes, even after listening and sharing the vision, a volunteer may still be adamant, hard hearted, or divisive.  At this point bring in another person, if for anything to help mediate, and to check you’re not over-reacting.
  4. You’re the Leader: It’s your call.  You’re the one that the leadership is looking to to lead, provide direction, purpose, safety, etc. etc. etc.  Their may come a time when you need to stand up, be the leader, and call your volunteer to follow – to stay on the bus or to get off it.
  5. Be Thankful: You could be doing this ministry alone and frustrated.  At least with volunteers the worst you’ll be is frustrated.  Remember that friction is often iron sharpening iron, hopefully leading to growth.  Thank God for leading others to partner with you in your ministry!
Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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