“There are no Lone Rangers in Youth Ministry”, the old saying goes. And while most of us know that successful ministry to teenagers can’t be a solo gig, many still struggle with the whole process of building a healthy youth ministry team. Many youth workers have learned that “No Lone Rangers” is more easily said than done. And while there’s no silver bullet (Pun totally intended!) for team building, there are some things that I think may help a bit, so that’s what I’ll dedicate my little column to over the next several weeks.
Building a youth ministry team starts with identifying the steps in the process. I think there are four basic pieces to the puzzle:
1) Enlisting, 2) Equipping, 3) Empowering, and 4) Encouraging.
That’s really about it! Strive to become a Jedi at each of these because, while there are no Lone Rangers in youth ministry, Jedis are totally welcome. Today, let’s take a look at Enlisting suckers….errr…teammates.
Enlisting others starts by making sure you have answered some important questions:
- Do you know the type of person you are looking for? Are there certain qualities youth volunteers need to have?
- Do you know what you are enlisting them to do? Are there specific roles that need to be filled?
- Do you know the expectations you will place on them? Quality leaders want to know what they are committing to.
- Do you have an application/background check system in place?
Next, brainstorm some ways to get the word out!
- Advertise in church bulletin.
- Ask your Pastor if he/she would address the need from pulpit.
- Hold a Youth Ministry Open House.
- As the leader, make sure you are constantly looking for potential team members.
- Ask your current group of leaders to talk to their friends. You are the “paid spokesperson” but current youth leaders are “satisfied customers”.
- Ask your students to name some people they think would be good youth workers.
- Then, have your students invite those people to join the team…it’s tough to say no to a personal invitation from a student!
Then, follow up on potential candidates immediately!
- When somebody expresses interest, quickly get the proper paperwork in their hands and set up a time to talk.
- Nothing is more discouraging than expressing interest in serving in a ministry only to be ignored/not responded to quickly by the ministry leaders.
Finally, repeat the process for the rest of your ministry career!
- You will always be in a “state of enlisting”
- When you start equipping these new leaders (which we will talk about next week), you will simultaneously be on the hunt for new ones!