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Students Need Adults Who Offer These Important Qualities

students need adults

Students need adults who can step into their lives. But teens need specific things from those adults. So read on to discover what to look for in youth ministry volunteers.

Once you become a youth worker, it won’t take long for you to discover. You. Need. Help! One key ingredient in a healthy youth ministry is a team of caring adults. For the longest time, we tried to recruit young, funny, musical, athletic, attractive, cool, wealthy volunteers with big swimming pools and lots of free time.

Then we learned the hard way that our list was both shallow and impossible to find. As we’ve grown, we’ve matured our criteria to recruit the kind of volunteers that students really need.

Why Students Need Adults—and What They Need From Adults

Consider these traits when you’re recruiting youth ministry volunteers at church:

1. Students need adults who aren’t afraid to wade into the mess.

Plenty of adults are willing to point out students’ failures. But not as many are willing to walk with students through the aftermath. Failure is uncomfortable, painful, and messy. Healthy youth ministries have adults who aren’t fazed by the chaos. They’re willing to love teens before, during, and after their failures.

2. Students need adults who offer real, legitimate encouragement.

Many teenagers hear little-to-no positive words on a daily basis. What they do hear is often superficial and performance-related. In healthy youth ministries, adult volunteers offer students the kind of encouragement that gives them courage to take on Kingdom-of-God-sized risks. Then we need to dare kids to follow Jesus in their messy and overwhelmingly critical world.