Wouldn’t it be nice if you could be picky about who serves in your ministry? It would wouldn’t it because then you would guarantee yourself a team of committed, hard working individuals motivating and encouraging you in your ministry. But that doesn’t happen, sometimes we get parents who just want to spy on their kids, we get college students who want to be worshipped, we get some old guy who wants to teach them youngsters a lesson.
Why does that happen? Is it because we find ourselves just looking for warm bodies? Finding the right ministers is a problem every youth ministry faces. But, it feels so random, it feels as if some ministries are lucky and blessed, while others…well, they just get the bottom of the barrel. So how do you get Grade A ministers?
Lay Out Your Expectations
Put them out there. Let your ministry leaders know and make sure your expectations are:
- Clear – Put them in a convenant, contract or agreement…just write them down. Make them a part of your application process. It might seem like an obstacle, but what it really does is give them a clear first step. What this shows is how accountability and clear vision are a value.
- Fair – Most of us full time youth ministers forget that our volunteers have jobs and families of their own. I want to make sure that my leaders feel as if they can meet my expectations. When they can’t it’s probably because we send messages that they have to have 100% attendance, they can never fail, they have to pick us over family. Not only is that not true, but that’s not healthy. Ministers need expectations that motivate them, not make them feel guilt.
- Filled With Grace – Embrace failure. When you embrace failure you embrace growth. Let your leaders know that there will be times they fail, and that’s okay (as long as there are no moral implications). We want them to take risks because it creates an outside the box thinking.
- Connected To Growth – You shouldn’t expect your ministers to just serve, you should expect them to grow. They need to grow as youth ministers and as disciples of Christ. You need to set a standard for learning, whether that’s handing them books, sending them to websites or bringing them to conferences. People are going to be attracted to an environment where growth is a value.
I’m not perfect in this, in fact I had someone call me out on this recently. It gives us an advantage to create and communicate expectations because it can prevent headaches when dealing with a volunteer who doesn’t perform in the way we desire. But you might disagree what an expectation should have because different people have different expectations because they are based on how our ministries are set-up. So I would like to get a conversation started on how people set-up and share their expectations.
What are the expectations that you create for your ministry and why?
How do you communicate these expectations to your ministers? (i.e. covenant, trainings)