Quick Steps To Keeping Your Ministers Long Term

I like recruiting ministers; yet, I hate it at the same time.  I like sitting down one on one with a potential volunteer and sharing vision because ministers are what make the ministry run.  I don’t like getting up and making a public announcement saying, “We want you to serve in student ministry.” because it sounds like a desperate plea.  But regardless of how you recruit, it’s just as important (if not more) to have a plan on keeping them.  And you do that by:

  • Thanking Them: And I’m talking more than an email or a thank you note.  Be specific, unique and authentic in how you thank.  Just because you might not be able to thank everyone doesn’t mean you should thank no one.  When you thank your volunteers they’ll know they are appreciated.
  • Set Them Up For Success: Best way to turnoff a minister is by throwing them in a situation where they are totally bored or overwhelmed.  Before you plug someone in have a specific job for them, but give them the freedom to take it to a new level.
  • Spoil Them: It doesn’t matter if they read, buy them a book on ministry that’s meant a lot to you.  Take them to a conference, buy them a coffee and just talk shop.  If you show them that you are worth their time, money and energy, they’ll show you the same with ministry.
  • Invest In Them: Get to know their spouse, their kids, their neighbors, their neighbor’s neighbor, get to know who and what is important to them.  Investing in someone is getting to know a little bit more about them than what car they drive.  And don’t find out all their personal stuff on a form…ask them.

All these steps are simple and should be a part of your natural demeanor.  As youth pastors we need to be spending a lot of our time investing in our ministers.  Share vision, thank them, celebrate them and invite them to be a part of your calling.

How do you invest in your ministers?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • CJ

    Great list- if we all did these things then volunteers would hang around a lot longer and be much more effective. Wrapped around all of those is train them, so they have the skills to meet expectations. Unspoken expectations ruin ministries. But with that list, I’d volunteer for your team in a heartbeat, Chris!

  • CJ, I appreciate it and with your experience and wisdom I would be more than happy to have you on board. I agree unspoken expectations definitely ruin ministries. Because of our different experiences of church we all enter ministry with a different perspective…never leave anything up to assumption.