What Every Volunteer Needs To Succeed

Early on in youth ministry I had several volunteers, but most of them appeared to be ineffective.  It started out as disappointment and then turned into frustration.  I started to take back control and do it all myself. I burned out.

We all want volunteers.  They are supposed to:

  • Help us with our ministry needs
  • Extend our capacity
  • Share the burden

The problem is that you aren’t giving them what they need to succeed.  Your volunteers are more than warm bodies and glorified chaperones.  Your volunteers are there to bring your ministry to the next level. And, in order for that to happen they need a:


When a volunteer minister knows what to do they walk in with confidence. They will feel more responsible for it’s success.  To give them a specific role, write it down in a sentence.

If you want write out a job description and have them sign it.  You’ve now given them an identity that goes beyond volunteer. (For more on how to create a volunteer job description click here)


Never take for granted what your volunteers do. While you cannot thank them all the time do it as much as you can. Go beyond a simple thank you and write them a note. Reward them with gift cards or give them a free car wash.

Pour into your volunteers with love and they will succeed. They’ll see that you care about them and value their presence. (For more on encouraging volunteers click here)


Your volunteers got involved because they care about your ministry. Give them a piece of the vision by asking their input on problems. Seek feedback, ask them questions and listen to their answers. Not only will you build humility but trust. 


Your ministry needs standards in order to succeed. Make sure your volunteers know those standards.  That means knowing:

  • How they should dress.
  • When they should arrive.
  • What needs to be prepared ahead of time.

When expectations are clear, people are on the same wavelength. This will create focus and unity amongst your team.

It’s not expensive to give your volunteers what they need to succeed. It takes time and intentionality.  Pour into your team, get to know them and make sure they are confident on where it is you want them to go.

Question:  What else do our volunteers need in order to succeed?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.