Let me ask you some questions about your youth ministry:
What would rather meet with a student or have a volunteer meet with a student?
When something comes up, do you take care of it or do you differ it to someone else?
What do you call your volunteers? (Leaders, pastors, volunteers, idiots?)
How much time each week do you give to training, loving on, or empowering the volunteers of your youth ministry?
How many students per adults do you have in your youth ministry? What ratio do you want to have?
Describe the youth ministry culture you lead in three words. What three words would the volunteers use?
When a student thinks of the youth ministry, do you think about YOU or someone else?
The truth is, for us at Ground Zero, we literally could not do what we do without volunteers. Everything we do is geared around empowering volunteers to become pastor leaders of this youth ministry. Of course, we aren’t perfect, but their value is in of extreme importance. If we’re going to love, pastor, and be in relationship with all the junior high students who come through our doors as well as WANT to come through our doors, we need volunteers to feel empowered and trained to be pastor leaders.
I don’t know of many youth pastors who say: “Well, I just want a youth group of 10-12 students who I can be in relationship with and disciple.” (Although on a side note, I literally almost fell to the floor when a youth pastor did tell me she would rather have less students than more. It’s hard for me to fathom people who want to actually reach LESS students than MORE. That just doesn’t make any kind of Kingdom sense). Anyways, most everyone wants to grow and reach more students as well as disciple those who are already coming.
How? Volunteers. Period.
Ask yourself: How much do your volunteers matter?
This next ministry year, devote large portions of your budget, time, and energy into empowering, training, caring for, and loving on volunteers. LARGE portions.
It may be harder (more time, effort, money) at first, but it’s the only way to reach more students for Christ.