Youth Worker: 5 Things We Forget Concerning Volunteers!!!

I was thinking today about my weekend volunteers and how much I appreciate them.  I am so thankful for them because they care about the ministry just as much as I do.  Before I got into youth ministry I worked for World Vision.  I led and worked with volunteers all the time.  The five things I’ve listed below are things that I have to remind myself of constantly because they make a huge difference in the experience of my volunteers.  So I thought I would share them.

  1. Give clear direction – If you want to get the most out of your volunteers, give them detailed instructions of the things you need them to do.  A great way to train yourself to be super detail oriented is assume no one is assertive.  If you need them to clean up, then you need to show them how you want things cleaned up.  I’ve learned that if you are to general in how you want them to do things, they will do it the way they know how.  You could be making more work for yourself by not being specific in what is needed from them.  I’ve overseen many volunteer groups and I can’t stress enough the importance of you giving your volunteers details.  Remember they volunteered which means they want to help, but they will only be as effective as you plan them to be.
  2. Set goals – When volunteers know their target they work hard to hit it.  Let them see your vision for the day  Remember they are their to help and they want to do as much as possible.  So don’t be afraid to challenge them.
  3. Attitude is everything  – Volunteers will mimic what you and your team do.  So if you all complain and have bad attitude towards what you are doing so will your volunteers.  If you and your team exude excitement about what you are doing and model it for your volunteers, your volunteers will follow.  Model the attitude and excitement you want your volunteers to have.
  4. Encourage – Who doesn’t like hearing great job. Also, when you encourage your volunteers you keep them engaged in serving.  It also lets them know you are engaged with whats going on at their level.  Which says a lot to those volunteering.
  5. Praise – Understand that the people who are volunteering are giving you their most prized possession which is their time.  Let them know how much you appreciate what they are doing for you.  Show gratitude every chance you get, because you need and you want to keep volunteers that care about your ministry just as much as you do.  They need to know how important they are to the ministry.

hope it helps

ac

For Students: Michaela Coon – Crazy or Stupid!!!

Student guest post #4 is from Michaela Coon, a Senior at Tesoro High School. Michaela is a part of my youth group and has a huge heart for people.  I asked her to share 6 ways in which she shares her faith at school.  Most people think the people who share their faith are either crazy or stupid.  Crazy because their approach is weird and stupid because you are putting yourself out there to be rejected. Michaela really gets you thinking with her list, so my prayer is that you will apply the things she talks about to your life. Check it out!!

  1. Be aware and Intentional.- Knowing the needs of your high school is the best way to communicate your faith.  Ask for God’s eyes to look beyond just walking from class to class.  Make it a goal to be selfless and personal in the way you talk to your peers.
  2. Know you have influence.- Whether you believe it or not, you have influence.  People are watching how you live.  This is a great responsibility but a great privilege as well.  However, there is a difference between this knowledge and the way you exert yourself.  Oswald Chambers writes, “In the Christian life, godly influence is never conscious of itself.  If we are conscious of our influence, it ceases to have the genuine loveliness, which is characteristic of the touch of Jesus.  We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring.”
  3. “Preach the Gospel, use words if necessary.”- When someone is filled with the Holy Spirit, His overflowing love is beyond undeniable.  The way you constantly love is a direct testament to Jesus. It is the little things that count.  For example, what if sticky-noting your campus with encouragement changed your school? A favorite quote of mine is by Mother Teresa:  “Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
  4. Build Relationships.- I cannot stress this enough.  Building trust in someone’s life and creating networks is critical.  When someone values your opinion, they will listen and retain.   Be willing to break barriers!
  5. Be BOLD. Shine your light.- What if you added in something positive in a gossip-filled conversation?  What if you readily forgave? Be uncommon. Care uncommonly.  During finals week, I passed out little notes with Bible verses and everyone loved them, even non-Christians!  It was a little scary, knowing others’ beliefs, but Jesus totally worked in their hearts!  Expect Him to come through.
  6. Love, love, and love even more!

hope it helps

Youth Worker: Fun Idea For Your Freshman Class!!!

We had a Battle of the Grades Can Food Drive for our churches food pantry.  The Freshman won!!! The prize was a rap music video that would be played during our youth group service.  It was a great added element to the service and also great for all the Freshman to see there friends in the video.  Find ways to get your Freshman excited about the ministry early.  It seems like when we wait they fall through the cracks.  Would love to hear some feedback on how you engage your Freshman.  If you need rap, they are going for half price!!! haha Thanksgiving special!! haha jk!!    Check it out!!

hope it helps

ac