Not too long ago I was asked to jot down a few simple thoughts about youth ministry volunteers; specifically what to do with them.
If you're like most people, including myself, when presented with the "What to do with volunteers" question your mind may quickly start making a list of all the "things" your volunteers can do in your ministry...the various roles, tasks etc. that need doing.
But, when I thought about it a bit longer I landed on three big-picture things professional youth workers should be doing with their volunteers. Three things that, I believe, will yield longer term fruit than simply giving them tasks.
EMPOWER: Don't just give them tasks, but empower them to own significant chunks of your ministry.
EQUIP: Empowerment is great, but not if volunteers don't feel equipped and trained to do the stuff they have been empowered to do.
ENCOURAGE: I've never lost a volunteer from my team because he/she felt too encouraged! I have, however, lost several because they felt under-appreciated.