the importance of volunteers

The volunteers are more important than the people they serve. This quote has recently challenged and changed the way I do ministry as a youth pastor. It's not that the students aren't important because they are; it's just that if I was going to prioritize them and my volunteer staff, the volunteers needed to come first in my heart, passion, and actions.

This quote is revolutionary for me because I got into youth ministry so I do what I enjoy most, which is hang out with students. But this would mean changing my thinking and now focusing on volunteers instead of kids. I haven't cut myself off from interaction with students, it's just now I spend way more time and energy reaching out to and ministering to my volunteer staff then ever before.

A specific way that I've applied this every year is by having a getaway with my whole team up to a large cabin in Lake Arrowhead for a weekend. For 2 and half days there is no agenda. The dozen or so of us just simply hang out and bond over meals, card games, and walks around the area. No ministry planning, vision casting or training. Just simply spending unrushed, uninterrupted time with each other. Now I purposely and actively sought out certain staff that I knew I needed to catch up on and encourage or challenge them in a certain way, but as far as they all new, I had basically created a vacation for everyone. And they loved it.

My team now feels so much more connected than ever before and also just have a lot more fun together. And that is contagious. In my opinion, this one key twice a year getaway helped our staff grow numerically and in longevity in their commitment. It's bred loyalty. And this has greatly blessed our ministry to the students. Because by me being passionate about my team staff and they really sensing and seeing it, it's made them equally passionate about each other and the students. The trickle down effect has been cool to watch. I've had students remark, Wow, you guys genuinely like each other huh!

And that has been a proud moment that's carried a lot of momentum for our whole ministry.

Simply Youth Ministry is here to equip, connect, and recharge youth workers with the tools, relationships,
and confidence they need to help teenagers develop a committed relationship with Jesus Christ.

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