The Value of Adult Volunteers in Youth Ministry

It’s convenient as a Youth Ministry Director to try to do it all yourself.  Because, that’s a quick fix to getting things done.  And it’s your job, right?  You have the passion.  You have the energy.  But the long term result of this approach is burnout and a small group of youth that rely only on you.  That’s limiting.

Doing it yourself is an approach that has you ignoring the Way Jesus modeled.  If doing it yourself was the Christian model, then why did Jesus call and equip disciples?

Jesus invited disciples to join him in his ministry.  Why did he do it?  Why should you invite adult volunteers to join you in youth ministry?   Make a list of the reasons.  I encourage you to write the reasons down now before you read any further.  Take a few minutes to reflect.

So everyday we have a choice to make.  Do it ourselves or continually seek out partners that care about youth to help us.

Seeking out partners is time consuming, but it results in a vibrant youth program.  The beautiful thing is that it becomes a blessing to the adult volunteers!  You just have to get them to commit.  And what I really mean is that you have to personally invite them to participate so Jesus can work on their hearts.  It’s important to not get discouraged and give up.

I use the word participate because to ask them to do youth ministry is overwhelming and frightening to most adults.  Start small.  Like, could you help serve a meal, provide transportation, supervise a game, help with a service project, go on a mission trip, attend a sporting event or band concert..  Avoid approaching someone and asking if they would like to be a small group leader.  First help them get to know and build a relationship with some of the youth.  Let them walk in ankle deep water rather than ask them to jump into the deep end of the pool.

Remember!  Adult volunteers have different interests and personalities just like the youth.  If you want a relational ministry, then you need volunteers that can relate to different kinds of youth.  You don’t have to pair them up.  It just happens organically if the volunteer has a caring heart.

A group of caring adults that you’ve engaged is powerful.  Engaged volunteers help you know what is going on in the lives of the youth as they build relationships with them.  Youth need caring adults to see them.  Volunteers multiply your efforts to have the youth know they matter to Jesus.

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