Volunteers are the basis of any succesful youth ministry. I am learning that your ability to recruit makes or breaks the longevity of a youth ministry, as the quote from Howard Morgens, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, 1957-1974 says:
If all buildings and equipment were totally destroyed, but we still had our people, within ten years we would have rebuilt everything, and be more successful than we ever were before.
I would like to share some of the ways I recruit volunteers:
- Pray – I find that often God inspires me to ask people who I wouldn’t logically think of as being a great potential leader and yet, time and time again, they turn out to be great volunteers. I’ve been challenged to spend time hearing God’s heart as to the people we need to make the best team for the young people we’re working with.
- Ask young people to make suggestions – again I find that young people have some fantastic ideas on who would make a great youth leader – they’re often a great judge of heart, passion, skill and character.
- Plan ahead – as I write this in mid-May my leadership team are planning who to invite on to the respective teams for September. I plan ahead for two reasons: firstly in a large church there are many competing demands on people’s time – we need to communicate early with them if they are changing from another ministry; secondly, it stops you hitting that point where you desperately ask everyone and end up with the wrong people on the team.
- Invite – we’re constantly asking people who we want to join our team if they’d be interesting in working with young people. The best way is to get young people to ask – adults find it much harder if they’re specifically asked for by a group of young people.
- Trial period – we encourage all those we’re inviting to join our youth ministry following a self-disclosure criminal check to hang out in the respective group for up to 3 weeks.
Tomorrow I’ll explore the different stages between inviting someone to be a volunteer and them being a full member of the tbcYouth team.
What other suggestions have you got on how to recruit volunteer leaders?