Finding volunteers is a challenge, having to recruit them in large amounts is even more overwhelming. In the past the pressure to find these men and women was so overwhelming that we looked for anybody instead of finding the right people. All this did was create difficult situations and awkward conversations.
If you want volunteers for the long haul then you need to make sure you get quality before you get quantity. That means having a list of expectations for the people serving in your ministry. Having the wrong people or unclear expectations will lead to a lack of unity. If you want quality volunteers you need to make sure they:
- Have A Team Oriented Attitude: Youth ministry is a hard journey and to do it alone is impossible. Make sure you are finding people who are team players. Volunteers who are not only willing to lead but to serve the others on the team is essential. Someone who is a team player will step up to fill holes and help you cheer along the other volunteers.
- Trust You As A Leader: When I was young I felt very insecure. I needed people who were going to trust me despite my age and experience. While trust is earned, you need people who will fill any gaps with trust. If there is a lack of trust you’ll find it difficult to lead and challenge your team.
- Buy Into The Vision and Mission: Be cautious of volunteers with their own agenda. While everyone volunteers for a different reason make sure it isn’t counter to your ministry (or church’s) mission and vision. You’ll find yourself battling ministers on projects and strategies. Disagreements on vision lead to misalignment, which leads to a weak ministry.
- Continue To Grow In Christ: If you aren’t growing in your personal faith you can grow ineffective. You want volunteers who are disciples growing disciples. This doesn’t mean they have to be theologians, just people striving to get to know God. Encourage this value amongst leaders and make sure they hold it as a priority.
Before you just go out into the church and say, “We need warm bodies in ministry!” make sure your expectations are clear (Click here for more on recruiting volunteers). Be clear on what you are looking for in a volunteer. The more you get it right up front, the less you’ll have to clean up along the way.
What qualities do you look for in a volunteer?