How to Create a Well Rounded Volunteer Youth Leadership Team

Who is on your student ministry volunteer leadership team? How diverse is it? Who are the adults you are looking for on your team?

We all have a picture of the “type” of leader we want on our team. However, it has been my experience that too often I pigeon hole volunteer youth leaders into 1 type of leader.  They are the ones who spend countless hours doing contact work type, creative and programmatic geniuses and ones who can give a killer message. Does anyone have those types of leaders out there that I can use?

Having a whole team of those leaders would be flat our awesome! On the flip side of this, I believe that when we do this, we limit the effectiveness of our team because not everyone can fill all those voids. There are plenty of people who, when combined together, can be apart of a team that is diverse, unique and using their gifts to reach as many students as possible.

As a Student Minister you need ALL types of volunteer leaders.  For instance, you need to have:

  • leadership teamRelational leaders. These are leaders who frankly have a lot of time on their hands. They are people who can
  • Programmatic-minded leaders. These are your creative people who aren’t afraid to get up in front of people and do fun things. And they are people who have really cool ideas to do with the students.
  • The “Coach”. This could be an “old-timer” or just an encourage team member who helps the younger, inexperienced leaders learn how to lead.
  • Teachers. Presenting the gospel to students is extremely important. You need someone up there who has a passion to present it to students in a language they can understand. Jim Rayburn, the founder of Young Life, always said, “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the gospel”. You need people on your team that can bring the Bible ALIVE to students. Not everyone is gifted in this way.
  • The Consistent. Consistency is key in student ministry. After all, there is so much inconsistency in the life of students, you need leaders to be consistent with students. Now, some of your leaders will not be able to be as consistent as others, but the bottom line is you need a core of leaders that will show up each week, support the mission and love kids. They may not be the best teacher or creative, but they show up and kids can rely on them. That is important.
  • The Behind the Sceners. These are those people who aren’t necessarily comfortable being on stage or leading lessons. These are the people who help set up activities, clean up messes, go grab ice when you run out and do all the behind the scenes stuff that is VITAL to your ministry’s success. You need to have these team players in your leadership team to have success.

All of these people are extremely important to your leadership team. They all are a part of the puzzle to make sure your team is well balanced and effective. Sure, we all want the all-star, rock-star leader. But, those are rare. The reality is that all your leaders will be relational in some way (some better than others) and will be seeking to have relationships with students. However, if they are all filling the same “role” then you are limiting your effectiveness as a diverse and well-rounded team.

We are all gifted differently so use those gifts for the betterment of the ministry. So, instead of limiting your scope of what a volunteer youth leader should look like, expand your vision utilize everyones gift sets uniquely so that more students can come to know Christ as their savior!

What do you think? What are the roles you have that aren’t mentioned above? Share them and your experiences below or on social media use my twitter handle @tapounder when you share. Let’s all learn from each other.

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

3 thoughts on “How to Create a Well Rounded Volunteer Youth Leadership Team

  • April 1, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Great youth ministry “draft board.” Mel Kiper would be proud!

  • November 11, 2017 at 10:42 am

    The Mama. Sometimes we get caught up in the moment and don’t see the danger approaching. Maybe it’s kickball in a lightning storm, or maybe it’s stuffing marshmallows in a students face, Mama is there to remind us to make a wise choice.


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