Leadership | Volunteers

Yesterday we talked about gossip and how destructive it can be within the church culture, and devastating to those outside the church walls. So let’s fight back! The best way to stop gossip is right where it starts – with your team and with the people you influence. Here are a few things we’ve learned about how to create unity and continue the uphill battle against gossip.

People who are informed are less likely to gossip.

Oftentimes ignorance can create a breeding ground for gossip. When you keep people in the dark, sometimes their mind plays tricks on them. They read into a situation or conversation, and the lack of communication creates gaps they gladly fill with their own speculation or opinion. If you want to create a unified team, keep people in the loop! When you communicate well, you crush the early growth of gossip.

16 lessons that will equip your adult volunteers to grow as leaders in your ministry

People who have great history have unity.

If you have a few key volunteers who have been with you since the beginning, you know how sweet it is to be with them, serve alongside them, and do the hard work of ministry together. You literally and figuratively have each other’s backs, and unity is your middle name. On the other hand, when you have high turnover or a collection of young, immature, or inexperienced youth workers serving with you the total opposite can happen. If you want to know the joys of a gossip-free team, work harder than ever to keep them around for a long time.

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16 lessons that will equip your adult volunteers to grow as leaders in your ministry

People who laugh rarely turn on each other.

We’ve noticed again and again in our years of youth ministry trench warfare that when people laugh together, they love each other more. When you are in relationship with your people – great stories, memories and inside jokes – the stronger you are together. When was the last time you spent some time just playing with your team? When was the last time you had an awards ceremony and gave out awards for everyone? Laugh together and unity quickly follows.
How have you seen unity built in your ministry?

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  • Matt Hart says:

    Growing up in Indiana one thing that my father instilled in me was the need to be a good basketball player. However, I was short, uncoordinated, and generally disliked having people jumping at me while I was attempting to shoot. Needless to say, basketball and I were not a good mix. Years later I am able to reflect back upon that situation and see how important a team is.

    Being a part of a team is an important part of any organization especially ministry which can be driven by our volunteers. As a youth pastor, we must be willing to seek out opportunities to help our volunteers, parents, and church staff see how they can best be a part of our team to reach students more effectively. I have been blessed to be a part of some great teams and also some not-so-great ones, but the fact remains that in order to reach our students we must build a team.

    There are many ways of building teams and coaching them through the various scenarios they could face. Prime examples of this include any great team in sports right now, who is led by their coach on the sidelines. This coach calls the shots, runs the practices, and makes the tough decisions, which is our role as youth pastors.

    In order to build a team in youth ministry I have found a few foundational truths to be true. The first is the need to communicate. We must be willing to share our vision, clearly and concisely, with our volunteers, parents, students, and staff. By sharing our vision clearly it helps pave the way of having good expectations and being able to live into them.

    Second, is the need to allow people to serve where they are passionate or gifted. As I discovered with my time in basketball, if you are not passionate about what you are doing, you will be miserable. In the same way we should be seeking to place our volunteers in positions where they can thrive and find the most joy.

    Third, we need to encourage the sharing of ideas freely and openly. This doesn’t mean that every idea that is presented will be carried out completely, but it does allow honest discussion of ideas in a safe environment while seeking to create the best ministry possible for our students. By placing several people in the discussion, you are able to get the best ideas and the best means to accomplish them.

    Teamwork is important in ministry but to accomplish that you need unity which can be achieved through devoted work of communicating clearly, having others serve where they are gifted, and sharing ideas openly with the team. By accomplishing these things your team will be more unified and have a greater effectiveness in reaching the teenagers of your community.

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