Youth ministry is fraught with many challenges and difficulties, including opportunities. Among the most important of these is raising up new leaders.


No youth ministry can thrive without that dedicated corps of servant leaders—those volunteers (adults and youth) who are willing to say yes.

Getting to yes, it seems, is increasingly difficult in our fast-paced and activity-saturated society. Many simply don’t feel they have the time to say yes to God’s work, especially to youth ministry.

However, asking for help is essential, and there are at least three important ingredients in getting to yes.


Take time to make a list and identify those individuals who would be most helpful to your team.

There may be obvious leaders here—but prayerfully consider some who may be diamonds in the rough or people who would make wonderful additions because of their gifts and graces. One youth pastor I know found a retired couple (in their 70s) who enjoyed working with middle school students and were beloved for their gentle wisdom and grandparent-type approach. Start with your list and ask God for guidance when you make the ask.


Share your vision for the youth ministry.

Make your people feel special, and important (because they are!) when you ask them to be a part of your team. Communicate expectations clearly, as well as needs and time commitment. Tell your volunteers what they can expect to receive from their efforts and commitment to ministry. What are the blessings?


Support and reward your cadre of volunteers.

Stay in touch. When you make each of your volunteers realize they are not alone, they likely will sign up to serve again. The best volunteers are those who can return to the ministry years at a time, thereby building relationships, knowledge and expertise.




About The Author

Todd Outcalt is the lead pastor of Calvary United Methodist Church in Brownsburg, Indiana and is a thirty-year youth ministry veteran. He is the author of twenty-five books in six languages, including the youth ministry titles: $5 Youth Ministry (Group); Last-Minute Meetings (Abingdon); Ready to Go Youth Meetings (Abingdon); and The Youth Ministry Encyclopedia (Kindle).

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