3 Questions to Ask When Recruiting a Youth Leader

March 30th, 2017

I will never forget this one time when I was candidating at a church to be their youth pastor. Though I wasn’t offered the position, one particular experience while I was there will always stick with me. I was asked to showcase my recruiting skills in an on-the-spot simulation. The pastor asked me to recruit the couple sitting next to him to their youth ministry. Ready. Set. Go!

This was such an intense experience, but it was so fun! We actually had a really cool conversation as I set the scene of where I would be recruiting them, as I learned their story, and as discovered what made them excited about serving God in the church and how they could utilize their passions and skills in that youth ministry. The pastor wanted to see how I handled recruiting youth leaders. The situation he gave me was one where I was seeking potential youth leaders. And while I do reach out for new youth leaders sometimes, there are other time where people approach me about volunteering their time with our youth ministry. And while each situation is different, there are always three questions I ask when I am recruiting youth leaders to our youth ministry. These are vital for any youth pastor to know before ever allowing someone to be a part of their youth ministry.

More often than not, youth pastors tend to gravitate toward recruiting youth leaders who are just like them. But what I have found is that there isn’t just one type of good youth worker. In fact, students NEED a variety of youth leaders to be in their lives. So every time that I recruit and interview potential youth leaders I ask these 3 questions:

1. Do they love God?

This obviously is the first and foremost priority to determine before moving forward with a potential youth leader. The youth leader’s personal relationship with God is the foundation of their leadership and value to your team. If they are skilled to the max, but are really weak in their faith, or worse, aren’t even saved, you really need to ask yourself why you’re considering them. I realize that it’s very rare to hear a youth pastor say, “I don’t need any more help.” But the temptation, however, is to just take any breathing body because you know how many spots you need filled and the current lack you have in leadership. Allow me to give you a friendly caution: not everyone is what they seem. Some people have an ulterior motive for volunteering in a youth ministry. Make sure you know where they stand with the Lord.

2. Do they have a heart for students?

Though this may seem like a given, some people just want to volunteer in youth ministry because they need affirmation, or like the games (and the ease of winning them), or are doing it out of a sense of guilt. None of these reasons are very good. For a youth leader to be effective over the long run, they really need to have a heart that beats for students to love God and succeed in life.

3. Where would they fit?

Small group leadership? Game leading? Prayer team? Resource team? Somewhere in the cafe? The idea of finding the right fit is very important. A youth leader may love God in an amazing way, and have a heart for students, and just not fit on your team. That is ok. Finding the right fit is hard, but is so important. Trust me. You don’t want to just fill the bus; you want the right people on the bus. When you make sure this happens, you are going to begin to create a well-oiled machine that functions well together because you are all working toward the same goal: to love God, to love students and to point them to Him.

I hope these are questions that you ask when recruiting youth leaders, but this is not a definitive list. What questions do you ask when recruiting youth leaders? Let us know!

Frequently drinking specialty coffee or eating Doroto’s Locos tacos, Brant Cole is often mistaken for just another student. With his wife Christine, he has been in youth ministry since 2010. Gifted in relational connections and transformational preaching, Brant finds it to be one of the highest privileges to do ministry with and to students. To him, student ministry is extremely important because students are not just the church of tomorrow; they are the church of today. Brant has his M.A. in Pastoral Studies and Congregational Leadership from Moody Theological Seminary, and currently serves as Youth Pastor at Walloon Lake Community Church in Walloon Lake, Michigan. You can connect with Brant on Facebook and learn more about his church’s youth ministry on Facebook and Instagram.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.