One thing that I am seeking at improving this year is volunteer involvement. I feel like we push student led youth groups so much that volunteers get left in the middle, and feeling a bit disconnected in some ways. Here are 5 things that every volunteer needs from his student pastor that I have learned over the years:
- Prayer– This is a no brainer, but seriously, Youth Pastor, do you pray regularly for your volunteers? If I am going to be totally honest with you, I would have to say, I have struggled with this, but this year, I have committed to becoming a better prayer warrior for our small group volunteers. I am not talking about saying a quick prayer like, “God, pray for our volunteers.” I am saying pray for each of them by name.
- Encouragement– Being a youth leader is tough stuff. It is not something that you just start, and become an expert at it. It can be somewhat draining, and very discouraging. I had a small group leader frustrated recently about her kids not showing up. This is where the youth pastor comes in. Encourage your leaders. Send an encouraging note, a text, or an email to let them know that you are standing with them.
- Information– Inform them. Try and not allow for things to happen without them knowing. Give them a heads up about what is going on at your student service, or the details about events, before the students get the information. Small group volunteers need to be in the know as much as the youth pastor.
- Accountability– Everyone needs accountability, and small group leaders need this from the youth pastor. Hold them accountable about the expectations that you give them before the year begins.
- Belief– Every small group volunteer needs to feel appreciated, but each small group leader needs to know that you as the youth pastor believe in what they are doing! Not just in the work, but in them as a person as well. Dream with them, and when they give you an idea, make it happen somehow!