Teaching: Getting Help

No one person can effectively minister to a hundred students.

Jesus only had twelve disciples with whom He was really close, and three of those seemed closer than the rest. No matter what the size of your group is, you could probably use some help finding the right people.

There are a few ways not to recruit, including letting anyone who is interested volunteer. Placing an ad in the bulletin or asking for help from the pulpit are probably not the best ways to find helpful workers. But while there are ways not to recruit, there are some helpful things to keep in mind when trying to find other adults to help with the youth ministry in your church.

Decide What it is You Need
Maybe you need a teacher, or a counselor, or someone who would be willing to go pick kids up for youth group. Maybe you need a hospitable person, an encouraging person, or a handy person. What you need informs the whole process. Two things to keep in mind: the person you need is probably not going to be exactly like you, and you don’t necessarily have to be best friends with the person. Staff your ministry according to the needs of the ministry, not so you can find a friend.

Be Picky
There are lots of willing people, but they may not be a good fit. Try to establish whether or not they feel a sense of calling. Determine what they are good at, and whether or not it meets your needs. Go looking for particular people instead of throwing the opportunity open to anyone. This result in a more productive volunteer staff, rather than a hard-to-administrate group of people with no direction.

Have an Interview
Once you establish your needs and who some potential candidates might be, interview them. It doesn’t have to be formal, but at least take them to lunch and ask them some questions about their interest in student ministry. A few questions you should never leave out:
• Tell me about your relationship with Christ.
• Tell me about your family life.
• What about ministry with teenagers is compelling to you?

Get References
Don’t hesitate to ask for references from the potential worker. A professional reference (their boss, a co-worker, etc.) gives you insight into what kind of worker they are and what skills they have. A personal reference (maybe someone in a small group with them, etc.) can give you an indication of how they live out their faith. Three references is probably plenty.

Do a Background Check
These days, it is entirely appropriate to ask volunteers who are working with minors to submit to a state-sponsored background check. This will expose any issues they’ve had in the past with criminal offenses, including drugs and alcohol related offenses. Moreover, it will shed light on any issues they’ve had related to minors. And, if they are unwilling to submit to one, it’s an easy way of reducing the amount of candidates you have to choose from.

Make Expectations Clear
Once you have selected someone to fill the need in your ministry, make sure they understand what it is they are being asked to do. This will be a huge help in retaining the individual for many years to come.

See Also: A Sample Application (PDF) Click here

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