Gary Eilts has been a volunteer in our junior high ministry for many years. When I joined the team in 1997, Gary was introduced as one of our veteran volunteers. Alli is a senior in high school who co-leads my daughter’s 8th grade small group. She’s been on our team for about four months.
Even though Gary and Alli are in completely different worlds when it comes to junior high ministry experience and life stage (Alli was in junior high three years ago, and Gary was in junior high somewhere around the time Kennedy was president!), there are some things they both need to hear over and over.
Thank You… We all know junior highschoolers don’t say it often enough, and I would venture to guess that youth pastors don’t either. Every volunteer needs to hear a genuine thank you.
You are making a difference… In fact, just tag this on to your “Thank you.” How often have you wondered if what you do matters? The same is true for the volunteer leaders on your team.
You are such a great ____________… In fact, just tag this on to your “Thank you, you are making a difference” line. It feels good when people verbally recognize what we bring to the table. Make it a habit to point out the little, subtle things your volunteers are good at as well as the more obvious ones.
I’m praying for you. In fact, just tag this on to your “Thank you, you are making a difference. You are such a great ____________” line. I like telling people I’m praying for them because then I kind of have to actually do it! What volunteer doesn’t appreciate knowing that the leader they serve alongside is lifting them to the Father?
“Thank you, you are making a difference. You are such a great ________. I’m praying for you” are 16 simple words that will keep your volunteers coming back for more. Even after the 7th grade guys shove a potato up the tailpipe of their car.