How I Communicate with Youth Ministry Volunteers

Jacob Eckeberger
October 24th, 2016

Have you ever wished that your volunteers could read your mind?

Well, not every thought, but at least the ones regarding the permission slips you forgot to print, the PowerPoint you needed for service, or how to respond to certain ministry challenges without you. As cool as the mind reading super power is, our people don’t possess it. However, you have the ability to create an environment where everyone on your team is like-minded. If any ministry, organization, company, or family wants to accomplish great achievements, they must maintain great communication. Communication is crucial to overcoming the minor and major challenges that we face in life. If any sized group wants to progress they need to know where they are going and how they are getting there. The bible gives this admonishment in Amos 3:3,

“Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” NKJV

As the leader, it is imperative that you are transparent about the vision and direction of your ministry. You are the voice in the navigation system that your volunteers need to know and trust.

My favorite leadership model is in the book of Matthew chapter ten. It opens by saying,

“And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” NKJV

[bctt tweet=”God has positioned you to lead and you must empower your leaders to do the same.” username=”ys_scoop”]

Take a moment and review how Jesus encourages His disciples in that chapter and helps them navigate the difficult days.

The conversation Jesus has with His disciples was on a personal level. He didn’t relay it through someone else but taught the disciples in conversation and in practice.

Just as our world continues to progress technologically, we must also progress in our communication. Limiting meetings to a classroom on the first Monday of every month is difficult. It’s not that your leaders don’t like your meetings, there is a possibility that they don’t like sitting in traffic after a long workday.

Here are a few options for assistance:

  1. FreeConferenceCall.com – This is a great platform for meetings when your team cannot meet in person. It is also efficient for last minute follow up meetings.
  1. Google docs and Google apps – The Google applications make creating shared documents and team think efficient. My team uses this program for living documents that change during the building and review process of our major events.
  1. Video conferencing – Apple FaceTime is great for one on one conversation however when you need to have multiple participants on the call consider using Skype.com.
  1. Change meeting locations – Meeting outside of your church facility can breed creativity and encourage volunteer attendance just because it is somewhere different.
  1. Have meetings where the only agenda item is to have fun – These are great for team building. Not only will it encourage conversation between individuals that don’t normally hang together but also it will inspire individuals who are not in your ministry to inquire about the ministry. People are attracted to fun.
  1. Groupme.com or simple Text Meetings – Our team uses Groupme frequently to update before an event and even during an event. This is also convenient when you are in a large venue or a theme park.

I believe in leading from the middle.

The front is great but everyone is behind. Leading from behind is reactive and the team’s focus on vision gets splintered. Your team will work more efficiently when you work from within. Hear everyone’s opinion, build from the middle, and trust that your volunteers know your heart. If you are constantly sharing the vision with your team they will clearly see where God is taking the ministry.

williamWilliam Cumby is the Minister of Youth for THE FOUNTAIN OF PRAISE, in southwest Houston, Texas and has served in youth ministry for over 12 years. He is a proud husband and dad to three children, graduate of the DEVOS URBAN LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE, and a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Oral Roberts University.


Jacob Eckeberger

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.