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:
I didn’t always get it right. For many years I just needed bodies. I wasn’t looking for the right people or a solid community. I just needed numbers. While filling up holes in your ministry team is important, it’s not as important as building the core.
Last night we rallied our leaders together to kickoff another season of youth ministry. I love these events because they not only get the year started right, they are also a chance to invest in your ministry core.
Every church wants it. It’s the vibrancy that comes from the next generation. That’s why churches higher youth ministers. They want to see the next generation participating in the church. The problem is not knowing how to get them involved and invested.
There is no magic wand to increase teen participation in your church. What needs to take place is a paradigm shift. Instead of approaching youth ministry with the idea:
10 years ago today I walked into Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as the Middle School Youth Minister. Today I’m still at the same church and I oversee all youth ministry programs. I feel blessed to have last this long, but it hasn’t always been easy.
To last in youth ministry is not easy. To last the long haul you need the right systems and strategies. You need the right leadership and vision. While there are dozens of the things that I’ve learned the last 10 years there are 6 that stick out. I learned:
It’s crunch time for our student ministry. Time is shrinking and the pressure is mounting. People are getting frantic and questions are filled with emotion. Getting ready for the beginning of the year is exhausting.
When pressure mounts it’s easy to lose our heads. What was once clear is no longer. How a youth minister handles pressure impacts their leadership. While the temptation is to stay in bed in the morning, you need to:
GO OUT AND LEAN INTO THE PRESSURE
That means preparing yourself for the spiritual, emotional, and physical battle that youth ministry sometimes brings. To tackle the pressure and come out on top you need to make sure you: