“10 Ways to Focus Your Student Ministry around Volunteers this Year” Notes

One of the You Lead pre-Orange Conference breakout sessions was lead by Ben Crawshaw and Kevin Ragdale. Both Ben and Kevin are Student Ministry veterans and their session focused on Volunteers. More specifically about 10 Ways to Focus your Student Ministry around Volunteers this Year.  Here are my notes from the session.

1. Spend more time with LEADERS than STUDENTS.

  • The days of the rock star Student Ministry where there is the primary leader and he/she is the end all/be all are over. You need more leaders.
  • Make sure you give away leadership to other leaders. That way students have more access to leaders and can have someone is engaged with them.
  • As the head leader, you need to spend more time with your leaders to help them grow as leaders.

2. Create urgency around SPECIAL EVENTS.

  • Have 3-4 events during the year that are really important for leaders to be at WITH students.

3. Provide CHILDCARE for leaders.

  • Not all your leaders will look the same or be in the same life situation. Provide childcare for leaders with kids so they can be able to make events.

4. Give away KEY MOMENTS in the life of a student.

  • The volunteers have influence with students over time…not you necessarily. That is why THEY, not you should have the key moments like baptizing students and tough conversations with them.

5. Let LEADERS LEARN from other leaders.

  • Pair 9th grade leaders up with 12th grade leaders
  • Have leaders lead leader meetings
  • Do leaders meetings that focus on “Best Practices” where they get to share their learnings
  • Other leaders have influence
  • Great leaders want to be used and share

6. Give away as much FREE STUFF as possible for leaders

7. PUBLICLY acknowledge, recognize, appreciate, encourage and praise leaders from STAGE.

  • They get to be heroes and feel valued
  • What’s rewarded gets repeated

8. CONNECT parents with leaders, and leaders with parents.

  • It takes work. It is more than emails and parents meetings
  • One thing you could try is an Open House where parents, kids and leaders are all together

9. Value Leaders TIME.

  • Don’t have a leaders meeting JUST to have a meeting. Be intentional about it
  • Discover what he leaders need to know and how you can equip them..then do it

10. Always be in RECRUIT MODE.

  • Your whole ministry should be recruit
  • Have a good sales pitch


What do you think? How have you seen any of these to be true in your ministry? Share them and your experiences below or on social media use my twitter handle @tapounder when you share. 

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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 YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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