Archives For volunteers
New leaders shouldn’t have to guess your purpose, process, or expectations. This handbook represents one of the ways in which we communicate these to our new leaders. This handbook is updated yearly. Feel free to replicate for your own purposes.
- Adult Leader Info & Expectations
- Overview of High School Ministry
- Teacher Resources
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It’s recruiting season. Our ministries need more volunteers just like yours. Emails, tweets, newsletters, and pastor announcements just aren’t helping.
The well seems dry. So how do you find more volunteers?
LEVERAGE THE INFLUENCE OF OTHERS
I was taught years ago by a mentor that my sphere of influence is only so large. But my sphere of influence combined with my leader’s sphere of influence is tremendous. Their relationships reach into places I have not been or may never go. Tapping into my leaders relationships expands my recruiting base to an almost unlimited level.
Here are a few phrases I use this time of year…
“Who’s leading your small group with you?”
“Who do you know that loves Jesus and might be interested in investing in teenagers?”
“Do you have any recommendations for small group leaders?”
“This is what God is doing. Who do you know that would want to join in on what He’s up to?”
The reason we have more leaders than ever is because we’ve expanded our sphere of influence through our leaders.
What’s your secret to recruiting more leaders?
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Healthy ministries have healthy leadership teams. Healthy leadership teams don’t just happen, they’re equipped and empowered.
In our context, we facilitate equipping and empowering primarily through monthly leadership meetings (except June and December).
When we recruit leaders we tell them that leadership meeting is the most important thing we do every month (outside of our small group time). We’ve learned that leaders will place importance on this time if, and only if, the meetings have value. It’s been a learning process for us in facilitating an hour and a half every month that adds value. I’m the first to admit that I’ve hosted quite a few meetings that were not worth my leader’s time!
This past year, however, (2011-12) we averaged 79% of classes attending our meetings. Our goal is 80%. That’s a significant improvement over years past. We’re happy with the progress. Here’s a few things we’ve done this year that we believe have helped add value to our leader’s time and ministry and increased our attendance.
1. Set up a collaborative learning environment
Our most effective meetings (based on feedback from leaders) typically happens when more than just the person training (typically me) has a chance to speak into the learning process. Because of that, we set up our meeting space with round tables. We place our leaders at tables with small group leaders who teach in the same grade and gender.
2. Allow time for leaders to get to know each other
We do this at the beginning so they are already inclined to talk when we get into our training time.
3. Use background music to encourage conversation
When we throw discussion questions to the tables, we’ve found that a little background noise helps facilitate conversation. I think it helps leaders not feel like they are being overheard at another table or maybe it just helps drown out the next tables discussion.
4. Have a clear learning destination
Our training always focuses on one of three general topics…process, purpose, or proficiency. Leaders should walk away with at least one specific application for their ministry area. For our most recent meeting, we had two destinations…(1) Establishing a small group routine and (2) What to do in the 1st 30 days with my group.
5. Cast vision
Vision is more attractive than need. Vision motivates the journey. While a leader may have come to your ministry because of your need, they will stick because of your vision.
6. Celebrate the activity of God
Student ministry is a messy, difficult calling. Telling the stories of God’s activity helps leaders remember why we came here in the first place.
Why do you think leadership meetings have difficulty gaining traction?
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This is the content of our spring leadership training and are the defining “wins” for our leaders in their TEACHING responsibilities.
Teaching with Passion communicates this matters
Passion is more than excitement, though essential. Passion is talking to every student who comes through the door. It’s engaging in every conversation. It’s genuine interest in questions and conversations. Passion is the leader setting the atmosphere.
Demonstrating the right skills communicates this is convincing
Essential skills include preparation, presentation, and teaching methods.
Teaching sound biblical truth communicates this is right
All else is lost without teaching accurately the Word of God. Clearing up uncertainty about a passage or chapter or theme is critical before carelessly engaging students. Helps include commentaries, bible encyclopedias, and basic bible interpretation principles.
Developed relationships both inside and outside class communicates this is believable
Healthy relationships outside of class help students give you their time and attention. Developing a system of communication with students outside of class will help you both organize your time and understand who you are teaching and often how to make application.
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The following is taken from a session on Recruiting and Training Volunteers for student pastors.
Your need for volunteers will always be communicated in one of the following ways:
1 | NEED | Ezekiel 22:30
We communicate it something like this: “Hey, we NEED 9 more leaders for our small groups. If we don’t have leaders, students don’t get led. We need YOU.”
2 | DUTY | 1 Timothy 1:5-7
We communicate it something like this: “Hey Christian, if you’re not serving, you need to find a place in the body of Christ to plug into. It’s your responsibility to get out and get serving. Don’t be a sponge, give back.”
3 | VISION | Luke 5:1-11
We communicate it something like this: “I want to introduce you to Austin. Austin was saved in our ministry recently and has been invested into by some of our adult leaders. He’s leading a bible study on his campus that has grown larger than the campus Christian club. It’s exciting to see what God is doing in Austin’s life. We want to involve more adults in the lives of students just like Austin. Would you consider joining our team?”
Which of the above do you think is most powerful in communicating your need?
That’s right…VISION is a powerful recruiting method. As a new recruiting season is about to roll around, figure out how to cast vision to potential leaders for your team.
Interested in having Matt for a training for youth pastors or volunteers? Head over to the schedule page.
Agree or disagree with this statement? “Your system is perfectly designed to get the results you are getting”
Take a second to think about the system you have in place for recruiting and training adult volunteers. Is your system producing the results you need or want to move your ministry forward?
BAD NEWS: If you’re not getting the results that you’re looking for, and yet you have been working hard, does that mean that your system is flawed?
GOOD NEWS: Once you accept this premise, now you can start looking for what it is you can change in your design to significantly improve your results.
Let me propose a three part process for recruiting and training volunteers that includes:
CREATING MOMENTUM – part 1
CAPTURING MOMENTUM – part 2
SUSTAINING MOMENTUM – part 3
Think recruiting/exposure – this is the recruiting process
There are 3 basic sales methods used in recruiting. Your need for volunteers will be communicated in one (or a combination) of these ways:
- Need – “We need 7 more small group bible study leaders to start the new year.”
- Duty – “You’re not serving? If you’re a Christian, it’s your duty to serve.”
- Vision – “Have you met Austin? God’s doing some incredible things in his life and we need more adult leaders to invest in students like Austin.”
Which of the above do you think is the most effective method for communicating your need?
ANSWER: Vision is always the most compelling strategy for communicating your need.
ACTION: Right now, think about your strategies (process) for recruiting new leaders. What has worked well? What needs to be tweaked? What needs to be deleted?
BOTTOM LINE: There are tons of creative strategies (letters, 1-on-1 conversations, social media, Pastor announcement, volunteer interest day, etc.), BUT the #1 RECRUITING STRATEGY IS RELATIONSHIPS.
PART 2 OF: 3 Essentials for Recruiting and Training a Better Team will dive into “Capturing Momentum” or new leader training.
HEY YOUTH PASTOR, THANKS FOR STOPPING BY! FEEL FREE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG TO THE RIGHT →
Matt trains adult leaders and youth pastors nearly every month. If you’re interested in having Matt at your training, visit here
Haven’t figured out the right ingredients yet for building an explosive adult leadership team? Relax, the majority of us aren’t there yet either…me included. However, any youth ministry that is running on all cylinders MUST have a firm grip on recruiting and training adult leaders.
Here are a few thoughts to get you thinking…
- The average turnover of volunteers is about 30% each year.
- We look for people who are committed, not necessarily competent because…
- We recruit people to a team, not to a ministry.
- Luke 10:2 “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”
- Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand with me in the gap…but I found none.”
- Every great organization has a system.
- TRIANGLE PRINCIPLE: When you expand your leadership BASE, you increase the potential for your organization to GROW
- Any System You Develop Must Be WORKED in Order to WORK
- If we understand training as not simply getting a volunteer to teach better, but to actually progress towards becoming a holistic leader, it will change (and complicate) our training process.
- Well rounded leaders last longer, have a greater investment in our ministry, have a greater buy-in to our ministry.
Spring (our major recruiting season) is coming so I’m processing our process and how to improve. What are you thoughts on recruiting a great adult team?
HEY YOUTH PASTORS, THANKS FOR STOPPING BY! YOU MIGHT WANT TO SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG TO THE RIGHT →
YOUTH PASTORS, YOUTH VOLUNTEERS, CHURCH STAFF MEMBERS: Join us for two hours of Student Ministry training as well as a free lunch catered by Chick-fil-A on Thursday, October 21st from 10:00am-12:30pm! Sponsored by Student Leadership University and Chick-fil-a
Jay Strack, CEO | Student Leadership University
Leadership in government, business, and educational entities proclaim Dr. Jay Strack to be a dynamic communicator and author. Jay is the author of several highly acclaimed books, including: The Three Success Secrets of Shamgar. As President and founder of Student Leadership University, the premiere, global leadership training for students. he has successfully merged the classroom with behind the scenes “edu-tainment” experiences in Orlando, San Diego, San Antonio, Washington D.C., England, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Spain, thus providing a customized environment for learning.
Ryan Bowman, Sr. Training Consultant | Chick-Fil-A
Ryan has been with Chick-fil-A for 20 years (spending time as a Unit team member, team leader, Temporary Operator, and Home Office staff member). He is currently a Sr. Training Consultant and a member of the Leadership Development Team of Training and Development. This team is charged with championing the development of leaders throughout the organization. He has presented Chick-fil-A’s SERVE leadership model and the Chick-fil-A business model to many different audiences and in several countries including Romania, Thailand, Kenya, Ukraine, and Jordan.
First Baptist Woodstock
Warehouse | High School Side
11905 Hwy 92
Woodstock, Ga 30188
Thursday, October 28, 2010
RSVP by Tuesday, October 19th to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 678-494-2653
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Last week I discovered a new youth ministry blog as a result of a backlink to my blog from one of their pages. Turns out, the blog is chocked full of great ideas for volunteers in the trenches. Actually, Dennis is a volunteer himself at Saddleback and has a blog dedicated solely to helping other ym volunteers.
1. A synopsis of what we study each week
2. An idea or two to reinforce the concept at home
3. A way to relate to their kids (my small group students)
4. A note to brag about how great their kids are
5. A picture or two of a group activity
Way to go Dennis! Thanks for what you do!