Top 5 Posts of 2011 for Youthwork Talk

As we wrap up the year and head into the New Year, I thought I’d share the top 5 most popular posts, (excluding a couple of contests that saw mammoth numbers of hits). So here you go:

1) Making Volunteer Meetings Worthwhile (click here)

2) Love Wins? Teaching Students How to Deal with Conflict (click here)

3) A Long-term View of Youth Ministry (click here)

4) Do I Need College Education in Youth Ministry (click here)

5) Protecting Volunteer Youth Leaders (click here)

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this blog in the past year!

In the New Year we will have some great new posts and we will be launching some new contributors to Youthwork Talk.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

Phil <><

Protecting Volunteer Leaders from Burnout

Volunteers are perhaps the most valuable people in youth ministry! Great volunteers who hang in for long haul will make a lasting and impacting difference in the lives of students.

Sadly, the most common reason that I have seen volunteers cease to work with students is not their lack of passion and calling –  it is rate of burnout and being tired out…

In my previous post I talked about the importance of protecting volunteers in general. Today I want to focus on one area I mentioned briefly:

How can I help protect my volunteers from burnout and exhaustion?

1. Create a Healthy Ministry Schedule: Asking most volunteers to serve on a weekly basis is already a challenge for many in their busy lives. For many parent volunteers in particular, making youth group once a week and staying in contact with their small group is a big deal. Therefore I try to commit to scheduling our ministry with healthy breaks and bear in mind my volunteers schedules. a) During Christmas break we do not meet. b) We do not meet for Spring Break. c) Summer is changed up significantly and we have a “come if you can” policy. We need significantly less leaders with our summer schedule, so this works for us. c) We schedule events in a way that they are spread out significantly.  We would rather do a few ‘big” events well, rather than many “poor” events that can tire out volunteers (and students).

2. Insist That Family Comes First: This often can take a while to sink in for my volunteers. Again and again I need to remind them that ministry needs to be a win for their family. Anytime they call me to miss a program or event because of family, I insist that “family always comes first…” In their minds they are often feeling guilty for “calling in”, but it’s my job to affirm healthy family. I have also found that when I take this approach with my volunteers, it actually creates greater loyalty since they I know care about them and their family first. It’s not just about “getting ministry done…” Read more

Protecting Volunteer Youth Leaders

Just last week we had our yearly White Elephant Christmas Party with my volunteers and their spouses. I am so blessed to have some brilliant volunteers who I love doing ministry with! They are fun, diverse, and integral to reaching and connecting with our students. Therefore, it’s imperative that I make a personal investment to train and invest these great people!

Not only is it my goal to invest in leaders and equip them for ministry, it’s also paramount that I protect them from many of the “joy stealer’s” that often come up in our ministries. Here are some of the “joy stealer’s” we often see:

– Church politics:  It happens in most churches, let’s face it. Don’t allow your volunteers to get sucked into this. When volunteers get involved with politics, remind them the example we need to be to students and remind them to rise above gossip and negative discussions. Most of all, remind yourself…

– Mistakes: Mistakes will happen. Anytime a leader makes an honest mistake it is my job to take the hit, not them. After all, they lead under my leadership. Anytime they make a mistake, I have to make sure I have a teachable moment with the leader, but make sure I emphasize my ownership of the mishap. Read more

10 Days of Christmas Freebies!

Simply Youth Ministry and their partners are doing a GIGANTIC promotion with 10 Days of Christmas Freebies. I can’t say too much, but I have seen some of the freebies they are offering… They are brilliant. Download a youth ministry freebie for the next 10 days and you will be glad you did!!!

Click on the picture below to get 10 days worth of Freebies!!!

If Ministry Is Tough, It’s Time To Breathe

My good friend in ministry, Darren Sutton, made this video that communicates how he was able to breathe again in ministry. If you feel like you are suffocating in ministry, or need some time out to refresh, maybe you can take Darren’s advice?

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