General Ministry
Josh Griffin

From time to time I post a question that comes into the blog for YOU to answer. What advice would you give this youth pastor who is asking about teaching/discipling checkpoints in their youth ministry. Weigh in!

We have a great group of leaders, but my biggest frustration is trying to come up with ways to help grow them as leaders and move them forward in their leadership capacity.  I’ve tried several ways but just haven’t found a way that seems to “click” just right. If you wouldn’t mind sharing, what sorts of things do you guys do to help grow your leaders?  How often do you meet?  What do you talk about?  How do you grow as a team?  

What would you say? Weigh in!


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  • Andrew says:

    1. Eating helps create relationship the easiest and quickest.

    2. People will serve “until it hurts” in their area of interest within youth ministry. This is simple and not original in the least, but I have asked leaders to lead events that pertain to their interests. We have a volunteer that is obsessed with Pinterest, so she leads the Girls Night Pinterest Party. She goes all out, much more than if I would have asked her to lead a mud football game at midnight.

    3. Whenever I find a great book on Jesus, I hand them to all of my volunteers. Last year, we read through King’s Cross by Timothy Keller together and it helped deepen our relationship with Jesus AND with each other. We had a few scheduled Book Study nights and I kept up with their reading a few months afterwards.

    4. I’ve discovered that as soon as people get closer to Jesus, they become better leaders. It might have to do with the confidence, or the urgency that comes with being a Christ-follower.

    5. Make sure to make room in the budget (or raise event costs) to pay for everything for your volunteers. Youth ministry hoodies, event fees, concert tickets, curriculum book, etc. Anything that the leaders would have to pay for in order to be involved in youth ministry is covered by the youth ministry.

    Make sure to have fun, too!

  • Ryan says:

    My work with our leaders has changed and evolved over the years depending on the needs of the team(s) each year. I have found that it is important to base your leadership expectations around both the goals and mission of your ministry as well as the needs and gifts of your leaders.

    I currently meet monthly with our leadership teams. Since we’re a fairly large ministry, I have “key leaders” who volunteer to help run the meetings for either middle school or high school ministry. This allows me to focus more on investing time with individuals and less time organizing meeting agendas and handouts. These meetings before a great time to pray, share ideas, share stories (we call them “God Sightings”), and focus on a specific topic/need in terms of training.

    We also organize 2 “retreats” for our volunteers- one at the end of the summer (before our fall ministry kickoffs) and one in early spring. This event is free for our volunteers to attend. The first retreat has traditionally been an overnight while the second is just a one day event. These retreats focus heavily on team building, worship, and setting goals for our ministry. It is also a great time to dig deeper into a particular area of training if the needs arise. Getting your team of leaders “away” on a retreat has many of the same spiritual benefits that it does for the students we minister to.

    Lastly, I try to meet one-on-one with each volunteer at least once each school semester. I try my best to have these meetings away from my office (meals are always good). This helps me know how to best support each leader in their specific role on the team.

    Communicate well. Keep everyone focused on your specific mission and purpose.

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