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How to Motivate Your Volunteers for Training

1. Stories:

there’s nothing that motivates and inspires more than good stories. Share stories about successes in your youth ministry, but maybe even more about the needs among young people. Make the spiritual needs of young people personal to your volunteers by telling real-life stories. Don’t say ‘bullying is a real problem’ for instance, but share the heart breaking story of Jamey Rodemeyer, who committed suicide because he was bullied.

2. Big picture:

sometimes we get so bogged down in the task we’re doing in youth ministry, we lose sight of the bigger picture. Help your volunteers see the bigger picture. Keep explaining the why of youth ministry, the why of your mission and vision. For me, reading a book like Generation iY helps to focus on the bigger picture, a whole generation of young people who desperately need our help.

3. Attention:

youth ministry volunteers don’t get paid for what they do and most of them wouldn’t even want to. But they do want to be seen, heard, recognized. So be sure to give your volunteers attention, no matter how busy you are. Spend time with them, share a meal together, have fun together.

4. Involvement:

Asking them for their preferences in the timing, the methods, etc of your training program will make your volunteers feel they have a say in it. People are way more committed to and motivated for something they’ve helped create. And where ever possible, involve them in the actual training itself.

5. Focus on strengths:

people will be exceptionally motivated for a (advanced) training in an area they’re good in. Do you have people with strengths in certain aspects of youth ministry, like teaching, pastoral care or organizing? Invest in them by giving them the opportunity for further growth. It will motivate them and benefit your youth ministry!

6. Time off:

sometimes the best way to motivate your volunteers for youth ministry and for training is to give them time off. Have someone take over their small group once or twice. Offer babysitting and have them go out for dinner. Organize some youth to mow the lawn, wash their car and do groceries so they can have a day of rest. Help them re-energize so they have room in their lives and minds for serving others again. Nobody can run on an empty tank!

Are your volunteers motivated to receive youth ministry training? What do you do to motivate them?