Jonathan's Answers to Tough Questions
I am one of the two head leaders of a group of five leaders in a junior youth group. One problem I’m finding is getting the rest of the team enthused to get and do stuff with the kids. I’m a fairly loud person and seem to be the one that ends up playing the games with the kids (which is real fine with me). How would I go about encouraging the rest of the team?
Doll, Victoria, Australia
Thanks for the email.
Two issues: staff training, and using staff in the area of their gifts.
Yes, we want to educate our staff. But we also want to take into consideration their gifts and encourage them to use those gifts. Not every staff member will do things the exact way we would. And- that’s good. With multiple staff using multiple gifts and abilities, you’ll be able to reach more diverse students in different ways.
But there are definite guidelines and expectations that every ministry must communicate. The best way to educate your staff team about the actions that they should be taking with youth- is through training. I would always take my staff on a "staff retreat" once a year where we would talk about ministry methods, set our purpose and lay out our responsibilities and expectations. Every staff member who joined my staff was also given a page that listed our expectations, responsibilities, guidelines, etc. These same guidelines and expectations were stated on their original staff application that they filled out.
One thing I always emphasized was "one-on-one" time or "hanging out with kids." They all knew to look for opportunities to hang out and bond with kids. Games and activities presented many good opportunities.
On the other hand- realize that God gives us all different gifts. Each staff member is going to have different strengths and they all won't be like you. Take this into consideration. Don't turn away a guy who wants to show up and handle all your technical stuff each week (sound, video, etc.) but doesn't want to play games.
Hope that helps.
The Source for Youth Ministry