The Many Faces of Youth Ministry Volunteers

She doesn’t look like brown hair and green eyes.

He could have blonde or black or blue hair. Her eyes could be hazel, blue, yellow, or purple.

They don’t sound like a girl.

They may sound like one sometimes but not always.

He doesn’t come from wealth.

Although she might.

She doesn’t speak English.

But sometimes he does.

They aren’t married yet.

And often they are.

He doesn’t have 1 youth ministry conference lanyard.

She might have 37.

What does a youth minister look like?

Over the years I’ve had the tendency to lean in a specific direction when looking for youth ministry leaders. I outwardly denied such a habit but it existed.

I was misguided as I narrowed my focus. Looking for college age students and young adults who looked like me to help me run the ministry.

What I want now are people of differing ages who don’t always look like me and I want to support them as they share the ministry.

I’m a believer that youth ministry leadership should seek to be as diverse as those we seek to reach with the love of Jesus.

As a mosaic of ministry leaders comes together, the ministry gains depth and perspective, color and value, mutuality and equality. We encompass the investment with owndership and care. Each of them, whether they are experienced educated extroverted esteemed…or not…are deeply vested. ALL are interested.

When leaders like this are interested in our ministry. We give them a short application to fill out and then we meet up. We get to know each other. We run a background check but we rely more on relational intelligence and cultural IQ to help guide our assessments. We pray a lot over each other.

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Brooklyn Lindsey
Brooklyn recently founded The Justice Movement, a church youth movement that helps teenagers help others. Her priority is to inspire and resource youth to break cycles of poverty through faith in action. An ordained pastor, Brooklyn has served in full time youth ministry for the last 16 years, authored numerous books, contributes and communicates for Orange Leaders, and speaks at camps and conferences. She, her husband Coy, and daughters Kirra and Mya live in Lakeland, FL where they like being outside, playing with their dog Marley. www.brooklynlindsey.com @brooklynlindsey/ www.justicemovement.com @thejustmove