Ministry hasn’t stopped happening since the Coronavirus came onto the scene and churches closed physical buildings. If anything ministry has ramped up. By this time, you have settled into some type of rhythm with your ministry programming, utilizing social media, Zoom, Google Hangouts or the House Party app. The last few months have made some of you weary, some of you frustrated, some of you ready for life to get back to “normal” (when I say some of you… I mean all of you), and some not sure what to do if things don’t open back up soon.
There is no doubt that you have been praying hard during these uncertain times. You have an opportunity to make it personal even though this you are currently living in a very impersonal world. Right now, a personal phone call means way more than a zoom call with 30 people. Right now, a hand written note to encourage someone means way more than saying it in the comments section of your instagram live feed. Right now, pulling up a lawn chair in the front yard of a student who has parents on the front lines fighting this pandemic means way more than an online scavenger hunt.
Here are some ideas as you continue ministry in these uncertain times:
1. Call Every Leader and Student
When you call the people you serve, you are letting them know they are worth your time. That may be the most important way to spend your time right now. When someone knows they are worth your time, they will decide what you have to say is worthwhile. Set a goal to call everyone that is a part of your
2. Write Every Leader and Student
Who doesn’t like to get mail? Writing an encouragement note is a lost art and needs to happen more often. When a leader gets a word of encouragement in the mail, it doesn’t just bless that leader but each family member in the home benefits from those caring words. When a student gets a note from their youth pastor, it’s a big deal and on top of that encourages that student’s parents too. Writing a note builds trust with that student and also their family.
3. More Than Content
Content is plentiful on the world wide web. Entertainment is abundant online, and there are people that are very good at it. If you are putting the majority of your time into content creation you are going to miss a golden opportunity to care for, empower and equip those involved in your ministry. The main course of your ministry should be saturated with as many personal connections, spiritual conversations and space to listen as you can handle. In a world that currently feels out of control, people need to be reminded of who they are, how much they are loved and that there is hope beyond what they see and feel. What students and leaders need can’t be found online, because its another human being that sees something in them that is special.
No matter where you find yourself today, know that you are not alone. Be encouraged, your calling isn’t through a screen but through personal relationships with those you serve. Look at this ministry landscape as a momentum builder for the future.
Everyone has been operating from home for some time now and ministry is still happening. What an incredible story this will be, the fact that the church didn’t stop taking the Gospel into the world. The reality is that we will be re-entering the in person world again and for youth ministry it takes an amazing team of caring adults to pull it all off. How in the world do you build up your volunteer team without being physically in front of them or without an official announcement from the adult services?
The truth is that we need to be recruiting right now to be ready for WHATEVER the fall brings.
Download the free eBook on what your Volunteers need from you!
Here are some tips and tricks to recruiting volunteers during Quarantine:
1. Ask Your Current VolunteersThis is your greatest resource. Your current team is on your team for a reason, they know what it takes, they know if people would be a good fit or not, so ask them who they know. Reach out to each of your volunteers and ask them for 1 name each. This would be an awesome start to recruiting great leaders.
2. Parents are an untapped resource
Not every parent should serve in youth ministry, but there are some that absolutely should. Make it easy for parents to know about needs and opportunities to serve. Take them through the same process as anyone else and be ok with finding different opportunities for them if you know it will not be a good fit. Don’t hesitate to reach out to families, who have kids committed to the youth ministry, they already believe in it, now they need to see how they fit into the vision.
3. Church Database
Use your church database to your advantage. Most databases can filter ages, types of people, attendance numbers, etc. Disregard if you don't have a church database but every church should have something, even if its Excel!
4. Ask Staff
The people you work with on a daily/weekly basis know people you may not. Take time to describe what you are looking for to your team and see if they know people. Again, ask them for one name each and see what comes from it. You may not realize your best volunteers are known by other staff members even if you don't yet.
5. Church Social Media platforms
Social media right now can be your best friend when it comes to recruiting. You need to have a compelling vision, communicate it clearly and then ask if people want to join you in reaching this generation. Use the church facebook group, use the church instagram account, go LIVE, create great looking graphics and see what happens. Its a free resource you should be leveraging to recruit.
6. Your personal Social Media
People you like and are friends with should be a no brainer to ask to serve with you. If they like you, they will say yes. Don’t hesitate to put something out on your own social media platforms. If you want to build a great team you have to do whatever it takes.
What you need when you talk to someone interested in serving with students:
Vision - You need to be able to convey what you see for students in the ministry, where you believe God is taking you, and how that person fits into the story
Clear Path - application, background check, observation, etc. The idea is that after your meeting that person will know exactly what needs to happen to serve.
Clear Expectations - Before they jump in they need to know exactly what is expected of them if they serve. The worst thing you can do for a volunteer is to communicate poorly and to blindside them with unspoken expectations you have for your leaders.
Don’t just pick one of those ideas, do them all! Don’t wait around until its to late! You need to start recruiting now!
Build a team to go after middle school and high school students together! Give away ministry and allow the gifts that God has given people to shine!
What continues to happen in our country HAS to change. Let me start by saying that I am not an expert or someone who really knows anything about injustice in our world. I feel uneasy every time something happens in our country that just plain SHOULDN’T. I feel uneasy because we have a media problem in this country, each side spinning things to benefit there own bottom line and loyalties. At the end of the day, truth always comes to light and regardless of the outcome, there is something to do about whats happening! This is my attempt at being honest and suggesting how to move forward from here and to not stay silent about whats going on in front of us.
As a society we are suddenly faced with, AGAIN, another act of racism and, AGAIN, it makes us all stop and think about how this can actually be something that is real. Those of us who believe life is precious no matter what the color skin you have, take to social media and cry out about the atrocity. People want to point fingers at who is to blame. It’s easier that way, to shove the blame to other people. The fact of the matter is that until everyone takes an inward look and does the hard work of rooting out the pride, the prejudice, the selfishness, the insecurity and hate, we will be stuck in a never ending cycle.
The problem with injustice is that it's easy to ride on feelings and a totally different thing for those feelings to move you to action.
What has to happen to turn feelings into positive traction?
What needs to happen before your heart breaking for injustice actually yields to fruitful movement towards change?
I am suggesting 3 things that you can start doing today to impact tomorrow. Again, I am no expert but I, like you, am tired of our brothers and sisters in all walks of life be scrutinized, ridiculed, judged and treated like they are some kind of second class citizen. It starts with me.
Start Seeing People Properly
When you look at someone and think you are better than they are in any way, you’re wrong. Seeing people as someone’s son or daughter, as someone’s brother or sister, as a friend, as someone who has worth you begin to see them how God see’s them. Every human being has worth, has value, has been created for a purpose even if they haven’t realized it yet. If you think you are better than anyone else you have a poor view of yourself. It starts with your vision, your vision informs your thoughts and your thoughts about someone else informs how you treat them. Let me be the first to say that, as much as it pains me, that I don’t always see people as God’s beloved. I will do better, by God’s grace and His power, I will take steps.
Root Out Your Pride
Pride is a misplaced sense of worth and a desire to be more important than someone else. Pride is what gets in the way of celebrating others accomplishments, of elevating someone for a promotion, of making a big deal over someone who excels at a specific trade/skill/talent, and ultimately, what makes someone treat someone poorly. Pride is actually a mask to your own short comings. Pride us ugly, it’s gross and it takes work to pursue humility in all areas of life. If you can be self aware enough to realize your pride, you will not only start seeing all people properly but start treating them with honor, respect and dignity. Let me be the first to say I need to work on my pride. I need to prayerfully ask God to reveal the parts of my life that I pride has a death grip on me.
Start a conversation and make a friend
What does your friend circle look like? What do your interactions look like at work, in your neighborhood or on the weekends? Befriend someone different than you or get to know those from different backgrounds. Take an interest in someone’s life, not because it benefits you but because everyone deserves someone to take interest in them. When you start to see life from another perspective you start to become more aware, more educated and more compassionate! Let me be the first to say that I can do better and will do better.
It’s impossible to make change all of the sudden. If everyone collectively takes a step towards unity and towards loving people the way God loves people, we will start to see the change that needs to take place.
It starts with ME, It starts with YOU… It starts with US!