Just because you are a volunteer doesn’t mean you can’t have a major impact on students’ lives. Some of the best relationships that have formed in ministries I have led are between students and NOT me, but rather my volunteer leaders. Volunteer leaders are able to have a huge impact but too often they limit that impact because they are only focusing on the group times. Your impact can go beyond youth group and as a leader investing in students lives it should.
Obviously, as a volunteer leader, your time is precious and you aren’t getting paid by the church to spend extra time on the ministry. That is why many volunteers believe their role is simply to be present at youth group each week. While that is a great start, your volunteer role can go way beyond youth group and give students what they are really craving. Ministry is about relationships and too often we limit those relationships to a 2 hour time period at a specific location (youth group). What type of a relationship is that? You’re right, it’s kind of a strange one, but that is exactly what we do when it comes to being a volunteer leader in youth ministry. The impact that can be had is immense, but we need to be willing to go beyond.
Here are 4 tips for volunteering beyond youth group.
1. Go to their events
These are easy because they happen often, don’t cost a lot (if anything) and you don’t have to stay the whole time. Sports, plays, and concerts are activities that students pour time and effort into and they mean something to them. When you go to one of their activities it communicates to them how much they mean to you. This is a very simple way that you can take your volunteer role and invest another hour every two or three weeks and gain way more influence in a student’s life. I often see relationships between my volunteer leaders and students take off and jump to the next level only to find out it was all sparked from that leader attending a student’s event.
2. Send texts, notes, or call
This is virtually a no time commitment task that can have a huge impact on students. Simply texting them words of encouragement, verses or repeating an inside joke that happened at youth group that week can mean the world to students. Being there at youth group is great, but going beyond and reminding students that you care about them throughout the week is HUGE.
3. Plan random outings
As a volunteer, you don’t have a ton of time and that is understood, but 2-3 hours over the course of a semester is all that is needed to go beyond. Planning one mini golfing outing with your small group students, or going to coffee, or going to dinner is a small way to make a huge impact. Here is the cool thing about planning a small outing, it might not be big to you but it will be huge to them. You only have to do one or two of these a year for students to feel extremely loved. They will talk about it for months and remember it for the rest of their lives.
4. Pray for your students
Prayer can happen anytime and in any place which is why it doesn’t matter if you are the main youth pastor in charge of hundreds of students or a volunteer with two students in your small group. Pray for your students. This is an amazing and essential way to go beyond youth group. When you are just a volunteer that shows up once a week, youth group runs the risk of simply becoming a task. But when you incorporate praying for students throughout the week it changes your view of your role and makes youth ministry more than just a task in your life. It becomes more real to you, and will also have an incredible impact on your students as well. Tell your students personally that you prayed for them that week and let them know that you were thinking about them.Volunteer leaders make the youth ministry world go around. Click To Tweet
Volunteer leaders make the youth ministry world go around. If you are a volunteer THANK YOU! You are absolutely amazing and I am so grateful for you. You have the potential to have an amazing impact on students which is why it is even more important to volunteer beyond youth group and show students how important they are more than just one evening a week.
TODD JONES has been in youth ministry for 10 years and has a passion for reaching lost students and training youth workers to do the same. He is the founder of STOKEDONYOUTHMINISTRY.COM, a speaker, author, and pastor. When Todd is not writing or speaking he enjoys surfing, baseball, and most importantly hanging out with his awesome wife and three beautiful daughters. You can connect with Todd at STOKEDONYOUTHMINSITRY.COM, THETODDJONES.COM, or on Twitter @THETODD_JONES, or Instagram @TODD_JONES.
This post was previously published by stokedonyouthministry.com.