I feel like I’m hearing it more than usual, “Can you help my child? They’re dealing with a lot and they need someone to talk to.” It’s a loaded question because one conversation is only the first step because, investing in a child’s life is a long journey. To be honest I get overwhelmed by requests to meet with teenagers because there are only so many of them I can give my full attention to at a time.
The solution is to pass each student off to a small group leader or another adult who will be able to invest in them. However, there are parents who are going to look only to the youth pastor, and some volunteer isn’t going to cut it. In order to convince them that there’s someone better in your ministry you need to make sure you surround yourself with these two types of people:
- Sold Out Leaders – This is someone who is willing to serve outside the usual once a week commitment and go the long haul with a student and his/her family. They know it’s not about them or you, that it’s about preparing this student to grow on their own. These are leaders looking to grow God’s kingdom and embrace the ministry’s vision. How do you find these people? Through prayer, persistence and investment.
- Parental Advocates – You need parents who will vouch for the effectiveness and impact your ministry has had on their teens’ life. These are parents you trust, who have been brutally honest, who are willing to sit with other parents going through a difficult time. You find these parents by simply asking them to be available in these types of situations. I’ve found that 9 out of 10 times they say, “Sure.”
If I could I would make myself available to all the teens, and all the parents but there is only so much I can give. I believe that my realm of influence only reaches 5 students at a time, that’s why I need help. I’m always willing to meet with a teen at least once, but I know in order to set them up for success I need a team of adults and parents who will pick up where I left off. These people are paramount to your ministry; therefore, finding them should be a priority.
How do you recruit sold out leaders and parental advocates?