It started out as frustration and quickly turned into resentment. My expectations as a leader were not being met. People weren’t performing the tasks or doing them subpar. After sharing this disappointment with a youth minister friend he was quick to point out that I was a part of the problem.
I had expectations, but I wasn’t doing anything to set my team up for success. Instead I assumed that they would just pick up their roles and responsibilities naturally. I learned to set them up for success you need to:
I’m asked, “How do I get more out of my leaders?” We know the more we get out of our leaders the better our ministry will be.
It’s a loaded question. It’s a question that deals with getting volunteers to show up to trainings. It’s making sure everyone is showing up equipped and ready to go. The truth is to get more you need to:
A part of youth ministry is disappointment. Volunteers will quit when you are already short staffed. Teenager who are growing in faith will hit stumbling blocks. You’ll have parents no show after you’ve spent hours putting together a workshop for their benefit.
While you are allowed to be disappointed and angry, you also need realistic expectations. The goal in youth ministry is to CHALLENGE and ENCOURAGE. The problem is when we set people up to fail and discourage them instead.
To communicate and set realistic expectations you need to:
Losing a volunteer is never easy. It does not matter the reason because it can always feel personal. The question you need to answer is, “Is there something I could have done to prevent them from leaving?”
There are some situations that are completely out of our control. When life happens and people change it’s only natural to move on. It’s in those situations where you need to make sure the person does not feel guilty for leaving. But, then there are the situations you can control. What about them?
The reason a volunteer will leave your ministry is because:
“How could they mess this up?” I had sent my volunteers the link for the game, but none of them came prepared. There I was bailing them out once again. Then it dawned on me, “I don’t think I told them to do anything more than check the link out.”
It is frustrating when it feels like your volunteers are just not getting it. You think about all the reasons why they aren’t meeting expectations, when the reality the reason could be you. Before you blame your volunteers for being incompetent, complacent or disloyal, ask yourself whether or not you have: