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4 Things You Must do For Your Leaders

I love my leaders. They are committed and loyal. They have helped me build our youth ministry and challenged me as a youth minister. It’s amazing, all that they have done for the church and for the students in our community.  

It’s equally amazing how I can take them for granted.

One of the most important groups of people you serve—arguably the most important—are the men and women who volunteer in your ministry. If you don’t set them up for success, you’ll watch as a steady flow of people pass in and out of your ministry. And, as many of us have learned first-hand, youth ministry is never as fun on our own as it is with a passionate, equipped group of volunteer leaders.

So, how do we keep our volunteers happy and healthy? Here are a few simple things you can try:

Thank Them

Take a few minutes to write out a card thanking them for a specific moment where you saw God use them. Take them out to lunch or give them a shout-out in front of the students. Thanking your volunteers is a simple way of showing them appreciation.

Ask Them About Their Day

They are so invested in your life, how invested are you in theirs? Get to know their jobs, hobbies, families, likes and dislikes. The more you get to know them, the more you can ask about their day. When they see the investment you are making in them, they raise the level of theirs.

Challenge Their Journey

Healthy volunteers are effective volunteers. You need to hold them accountable in their spirituality, or else it might affect the entire ministry. Challenging them in their journey will lead to difficult conversations; however, it will lead to men and women who trust you and God.

Pray With and for Them

It’s one thing to ask about their day, it’s an entirely different thing to pray with them. You and I know how isolating ministry can feel; therefore, we should make sure our volunteers never feel the same. Praying with them reminds them they are not alone in ministry or their personal lives.

Your ministry needs volunteers to grow and thrive. Healthy, engaged leaders will push your ministry’s boundaries and take it to the next level. Never forget what it is they do for you, and never forget to show them that they matter.

What would you add to the list? 

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Chris graduated from Xavier University in 2003 with a BA in Communications: Electronic Media. He moved to Baltimore in the fall of 2003 where he served as a Jesuit Volunteer for a year. During that time, he was a Case Manager at Chase Brexton, met his wife Kate and felt God's calling to Student Ministry. In the summer of 2004, he was hired by the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as a Middle School Youth Minister. Today he oversees grades 5-12 as the Director of Student Ministry.