A New Year Assessment: Are You a 5?

December 30th, 2016

One responsibility I’ve taken very seriously in youth ministry over the years is leadership development and oversight of our volunteers and leaders. My favorite part of the whole process is the face-to-face, one-on-one conversations I get to have with many of our volunteers. I love helping them discover how God has created them and how they can uniquely put their gifts in play.

Being that we are right smack dab in the middle of the ministry year there is no better time to get some face time with some of the leaders in your ministry and see how they are doing. The question is, how do you dig in deeper and get past the simple, “so, how are things going?”

One of the strategies I use is simple, yet profoundly effective. Think about it this way, when you think of a scale of 1 to 10, a ten is always the best, right? Not so fast. What if a ten wasn’t the best and quite frankly not even the goal at all?

Here’s how it works. What I do is I simply ask people to tell me where they are on a scale of 1 to 10. But listen carefully because this is what the numbers signify.

1 – “I am so glad we were able to meet. I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know I really don’t like working with teenagers. They are crazy, loud, disrespectful, smelly, and quite frankly I don’t even think they are human. This is my resignation.”

5 – “I am right on the money. I am serving the right amount and I feel like I am doing what I am good at. I think I found my place. Teenagers are crazy, loud, disrespectful, smelly, and quite frankly I don’t even think they are human! And that’s why I love working with them!”

10 – “I have more time on my hands. My job is flexible, I can lead, I can do things outside of programmed nights. Teenagers are crazy, loud, disrespectful, smelly, and quite frankly I don’t even think they are human! And I want to invest more of myself into this ministry. Give me more! Use me!”

It is my goal to help all of our volunteers be a 5. 

If someone is below a 5, how can you help them scale back or find another ministry in your church to serve in? Or maybe you need to be the one to look at them and lovingly help them take a break from serving for a season.

If someone is above a 5, and they are a trusted person on your team, how can you help them step in further? Is there a leadership opportunity for them? Can they help you launch something you’ve always wanted to launch?

See, being a 1 is all too common in ministry. We get consumed with doing ministry, dwindle down the scale, burn out, and end up a 1.

But being a 10 for too long can be just as destructive as being a 1. There are people in your ministry ready to be called in deeper. The kingdom advancing is too important for us to allow people’s gifts to go unused.

I love it when I get to help people scale back or step out because they are being healthy and wise with their lives. I also love it when I get to help people jump in even further.

Happy New Year! Now go love on some of your volunteers.

Rob-1-300x200_400x400ROB BERGMAN is the Pastor of Youth Ministries at The Crossing, a multi-site church in St. Louis, MO. Rob has served in youth ministry for 15 years and has a passion for leading, strategizing, and teaching students, volunteers, and other youth pastors. Through those passions he has had the privilege of writing, speaking, and coaching through various national and global youth ministry organizations. He is married to Rachel and they have two elementary aged kids, Caden and Claire. You can keep up with him online on Instagram @RGB.3 or twitter @ROBBERGMAN.


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.