5 Ways to Value a Youth Ministry Volunteer’s Time

By Aaron Helman Posted on November 08 2012

Your volunteers are busy people just like you.

They have families and jobs and their own relationships with God.

After juggling all of those things, they still manage to help you lead a thriving ministry.

My guess is you want them to continue to do that for quite some time.

The fastest way to drive away good volunteers is to waste their time. That's why you need to be intentional about making sure you don't.

1. Always start on time and always be totally prepared. One of your leaders didn't have time for dinner and cruised right past Chipotle because he didn't have time to stop. How is he going to feel if you aren't prepared to begin your meeting on time?

2. Don't meet if you don't have to. Could you have communicated your content in an email? Maybe shot a quick video with a webcam? If there's a way to do it without calling a meeting, then do it that way.

3. Meet one-on-one. I try to meet one-on-one with each of my volunteers at least once a year. I schedule dozens of 20-minute meetings, and communicate more in a small 20-minute meeting than I can in two hours with a large group.

If you really want to value a volunteer's time, meet them at the coffee shop near her house or workplace, not the one right by your office.

4. Cut way back on the emails. Your volunteers are probably wading through several messages from your church every week. There are a few ways to make sure that your important ones stand out as such, but the best way is to cut out unimportant messages altogether.

5. Find ways to make it easier for volunteers to do ministry. We want our volunteers to send postcards and letters to our students on a regular basis. In order to make it easier for them, we send over a sheet of address labels and pre-postaged envelopes.
There are dozens of ways to save your volunteers a few minutes here and there. The result? Happier volunteers and more ministry. What do you do to make sure you're respectful of your volunteers' time?

Aaron Helman is on a mission to help end the epidemic of youth worker burnout. He writes Smarter Youth Ministry to help youth workers with their biggest frustrations - things like leading volunteers. He is also the youth minister at Firehouse Youth Ministries in South Bend, Indiana.



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