4 Steps to Plugging in a New Leader

June 25th, 2017

How do you know if a youth leader is going to be the right fit for your youth ministry team?

I mean, it’s next to impossible to gauge if a person is going to fit from your first interview with them. How do you know if they will do well with your students? What if they jump in and realize that they don’t like it, feel out of place, or “aren’t called” to be a part of your ministry anymore? And how do you figure this out before allowing them to be on your team?

These are all important questions to have answered before a potential youth leader becomes a part of your team. The trick, however, is making sure you have answers to these questions before you have given that person a leadership role and a chance to change a student’s life. You certainly don’t want to give this kind of responsibility to a person who is not fit for ministry, isn’t ready for the commitment or just doesn’t fit on your team. So how do you learn about potential youth leaders before they become a leader on your team?

Here are a few things we are beginning to do in our youth ministry that help us get to know potential youth leaders before giving them a role on our team:


Potential youth leaders are encouraged to observe areas of ministry for an undetermined period of time before further steps. This gives us time to observe them interacting with students and to be able to get to know them better. This also gives them the opportunity to opt out if they feel that the time isn’t right or they wouldn’t be a good fit. If both of us decide that we want to proceed further, they are given a copy of our Youth Leader Expectations and a youth leader application.


All potential volunteers will fill out an application and turn it into me, the youth pastor. I, then, meet with the applicant to help their determine area of interest, current needs, expectations and when to begin.


Four times a year we hold leadership meetings to train leaders and provide important information regarding youth ministry operations. First-time leaders are encouraged to attend a leader meeting before jumping into action, if possible. This will help them acclimate to the youth ministry environment.


It’s go time! After the previous three steps have been completed and a background check has been passed, we are finally ready to let new youth leaders begin serving our youth ministry!

This is what we do in our youth ministry and have found it to be a wise process for plugging in a new youth leader. What are some other things that you have found to be helpful?

Frequently drinking specialty coffee or eating Doritos’ 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.