How do you develop longevity among youth workers? Discussions from Chapter Ten
We spend a lot of time talking about caring for the professional youth worker, but volunteer youth leaders are the meat and potatoes of every youth ministry. And yet somehow, this important piece of the puzzle is overlooked in many youth ministry resources. Devries really gives the reader practical, useful, reasonable insight without overbearing on the reader as he had in previous sections. His theory of adult to youth interaction is summed up on page 144, “that young person is at the center of a web, a convergent community, connected not only to him or her but also to each other.”
His recruiting advice is plain. It isn’t earth-shattering, but as someone who hates, struggles with, and despises all things related to recruiting, it was valuable.
Further, he explores the development of the long-term volunteer. Plenty of people are ready and willing to volunteer when their child is involved in the ministry, but they graduate with their child. Devries builds an expectation for long-term continuation in ministry. Volunteers who skip out early miss the view of watching young men and women serving their Lord and Savior.
Questions for your pondering and responding:
1. What is your strategy for recruiting? What in Devries’ method can you use in your ministry?
2. How long do you ask volunteers to commit? Have you developed a strategy of cultivating long-term volunteers?
3. Devries promotes the concept of “apprenticeships” for older youth and young adults. What, in your view, is the appropriate use of older youth or young adults in youth ministry?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Find more Book Club discussions on Sustainable Youth Ministry:
Sustainable Youth Ministry, pt. 1
Sustainable Youth Ministry, pt. 2
Sustainable Youth Ministry, pt. 3