Relational Investment – The Difference Maker In Youth Ministry Volunteer Development…

How do you know if your volunteers ‘get it’? How do you know if your meetings and training are effective? What should training look like? With limited time, how can you make the most of volunteers busy schedules?

If I am honest, there is an insecurity in me that tells me I am not doing enough, or that there’s not enough time and resources to effectively train my leaders… Ever feel this way?

Volunteer Youth Ministry copy

Recently, I went back to a previous church for a birthday and was able to see a number of former volunteers who I had invested in over the years. One of my former volunteers sat down with me and shared something that took me a little by surprise… He shared that I had been one of the most influential people in his life… As they say in England, I was ‘gob smacked!’ To be honest, as I tried to think back to my time with him, I could not put my finger on what I had done to make this difference. Instead of over thinking things, I sat back and listened as he shared what made the difference to him. He said something like:

“I know it’s your job to care about people, but you seemed to genuinely care about who I was and where I was going in my life. You spent time with me and challenged me in areas of my life that no one else could have”

As I listened and reflected later, here is the difference maker as we consider training and equipping leaders in ministry: 

  1. People know when it’s your job to care, or whether you do care genuinely for them.
  2. When we listen to the heart of our volunteers (and students), they in turn will listen to us.
  3. We should always be looking to give direction to volunteers lives and not only be looking to give youth ministry tips and training.
  4. When we spend time investing in someone’s life, we earn the right to challenge and sharpen them.

And finally, what I discovered again to be true: 

The way I invest in my volunteers will determine the way they invest in students lives also. This, in my opinion, is the difference maker in moving good volunteers to become great volunteers…

How are you investing in your leaders? Is it your job to care, or do people see that you genuinely do care? Do you know the heart of your volunteer leaders? Are you in a place where you can challenge your volunteers and they will accept it well? What are some of the ways you get quality time to invest in people? 

Phil <><

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