Multiply Your Impact With Volunteers
Youth workers aren’t very good at math.
Let’s do a little simple math from my new “Skinny” book about recruiting volunteers.
If you look at the time you spend each week with teenagers, you could go out there and spend 20 hours a week with students by yourself.
You put in 20 hours and reap 20 hours of impact.
20 = 20
Or you could take that same block of time, spend 10 hours with students, and 10 hours a week developing 10 volunteers so that they eventually can EACH spend 5 volunteer hours (50 hours total) a week with students.
You put in 20 hours and reap 60 hours of impact.
20 = 60
This model isn’t just good math; it’s scriptural. Jesus devoted time to the crowds, but he also spent time developing the Twelve (Matthew 4:18-22; Matthew 10), not to mention the 70+ regulars who were also gleaning from his teaching (Luke 10)—probably the same group from which they chose Judas’ replacement (Acts 1). These guys not only helped Jesus while he was here on earth, they also continued his ministry when he was gone.
Think about that. Jesus spent time reaching the crowds hands on… and he also spent time developing his leaders.
Ask yourself honestly:
Do you regularly do both?
Because if I’m being completely honest, in my personal interaction with literally hundreds of youth workers each year, I think the overwhelming majority don’t even spend an hour a week investing in recruiting, keeping, or training their volunteers.
Seriously. Not even an hour.
Consider what this might look like in your ministry if you spent just 2 hours a week.
And if you’re saying, “I don’t have time,” please consider this: what if you developed teachers who saved you weekly prep time? What if you recruited office help who did many of the logistical tasks you get buried in? What if you trained leaders who would launch entire ministries without you? These volunteers would all save you time.
And what if you found 10 caring adults who were willing to hang out with kids for just a few hours per week? Think about the impact.
Or you could just do it all yourself.
How Do We Do It?
For most of us, the question isn’t if we want volunteers—the question is how we get them and keep them. If that’s you… you’re not alone. And that’s exactly why I wrote this skinny little book that you can read in less than an hour, giving you three simple skills that will help you mobilize and equip leaders for the work of the harvest: recruiting, keeping, and training volunteers.
Check out The Skinny on Volunteers or get it as part of this entire new “Skinny” book set.
Jonathan McKee is the author of over a dozen books including the brand new More Than Just the Talk, Sex Matters, The Guy’s Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites,TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three kids Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.