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How You Can Serve Struggling Volunteers

It’s easy to forget that we are not the only ones who face the battles of youth ministry.  Serving the next generation is a battle for you and your volunteers.

They will be tested and tempted. Personal life will conflict with their time serving teens.  As their leader you need to make sure you are pouring into them consistently by:


Even if you are a social butterfly it’s important for you to schedule time where you sit down and talk about ministry. It doesn’t have to be a formal meeting, it just needs to be intentional.

Ask them what’s working and what isn’t. Give them permission to be honest and open.  They’ll appreciate the fact that you are giving them your time to invest in them.

When a volunteer is ill equipped he or she is going to feel overwhelmed.  As a youth minister you need to provide opportunities for your volunteers to grow in their craft.

Invite them to conferences or host a training of your own.  Find out specifically what they are facing and help them find the information to tackle it.


It’s difficult to get your life in order when you are constantly moving. If a volunteer is struggling personally or professionally let them know it’s okay to take a step back.

When you give them the time make sure you are laying it out as an opportunity to reflect and refocus.  Remind them it’s about getting healthy and not just getting a job done.


Take the time to intentionally pray for your team. If possible get specific. Ask them what’s going on in their lives. You are not the only one in a spiritual battle.  Remind them that they are not alone.

In order for your team to commit for the long haul they need to know you are there with them in the trenches. They’ll trust that you have their back and that you are returning the investment they’ve poured into you.

How do you build a healthy volunteer culture in your ministry?  

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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.