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.
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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!
The most detrimental phrases to the dreams you have in your life start with... "I can't".
I remember dreaming about ideas I had for the ministry I was privileged to lead. I remember those dreams filling my soul and my spirit with hope. I remember starting to chase down those dreams and how I was driven by a spiritual adrenaline to reach more students with the Gospel. I remember the first time I said, "I can't" as well. It was debilitating, it was paralyzing, it wasn't fun to sit in.
That moment comes for every leader. The moment when you can let your insecurity, your fear of the unknown, your attitude of comparison keep you away from what could be.
Saying "I can't" has serious implications for you as a leader. Here are 3 I have experienced and seen over the years:
1. When you say "I can't" you are giving in to a growth barrier.
You have a limitless ceiling in leadership, ministry & personal growth. The biggest deterrent is our mindset and attitude towards the tasks or goals at hand. The quickest way to create a barrier for yourself is to say that you can't do something. Instead, ask yourself what are the steps you need to take to complete the task or grow in a specific area. You can, if you believe that you actually can.
2. When you say "I can't" you allow your fear to win
The reality is that we are all afraid of things in our lives. I have a fear of failure, people I know have a fear of letting others down or even a fear of things going really well and what that will mean for them. Fear is the unknown ruling the future. Fear has no place in your life. As a follower of Christ, there is no reason to fear anything. In 1 John 4:18, we read that perfect love (God's love for us) casts out all fear. The war is won and God has ordained your steps, get rid of fear and step into all that God has for you!
3. When you say "I can't" you will never know what could be
Its not ok to let what could be keep you from what could be. "What could be", might be the difference between someone hearing the Gospel and experiencing Jesus for the first time and not. "What could be", may be life changing for someone affected. Fear is the wall between what is and what could be; and that wall needs ripped down. Failure is fine when you learn and grow from it. Decide right now that fear will not keep you away from what could be.
You absolutely CAN! Dream BIG, try new things, go after something that seems like a long shot but don't let fear stand in your way! YOU GOT THIS!