Recently, I went to minister in Kenya, Africa. While taking the longest, most grueling flight from Syracuse, NY to Bungoma, Kenya, I decided to do something I rarely get to do – watch a movie. And I am so glad that I did. I ended up watching the award winning film, “The Help.” This movie was so encouraging and it made me reflect on how I was able to leave our youth ministry for 10 days and fly around the world without the program ever skipping a beat. As a matter of fact, when I got back many of the students told me that I could leave more often because the ministry was just as good or even better than when I am there. This does not concern me. As a matter of fact, it excites me. Here’s why.
The feedback from our students is a confirmation that I have developed a strong team to assist me with carrying out the mission of our youth ministry. Years ago, my mentor shared a very important principle with me that I have never forgotten. He told me, “You are never a success until you have duplicated yourself in someone else.” Here is what I believe. Your youth program will be as successful as the leaders you have in place. Acts 6:3 is an excellent example of this principle in action.
When I recruit new leaders into our youth program, it is very important that they are properly trained and prepared to be a help and not a hindrance to the ministry taking place. Finding new people is nothing new. In fact, helps is a gift God has placed in the church. Helps is like a concrete pillar that supports and holds the ministry together. Just take a look at 1 Corinthians 12:28. To get the right help, you have to determine your areas of need. Take the time to think about all the areas of ministry where others can help and serve in with the proper training. That could take a lot of pressure off of you, and in some cases, they can do a better job than you could in those areas. For example:
- Altar Workers
- Information Services
- Snack Bar Servers
- Event Coordinators
- Media Technicians
- Small Group Leaders
- Crowd Control
Depending on the size of your youth ministry, you may or may not need help in all of these areas. But it is not a bad idea to start to think about and prepare for them. Here are a few things to consider when staring a helps program.
- Decide where to start and how many people you will need in those areas.
- Define the responsibilities and job descriptions for each area and position.
- Decide who will oversee each department, including the training and scheduling of team members.
- Disciple your leaders, not dictate them. By this I mean, be the kind of leader Jesus was. Lead by example.
In the next blog, I will share with you how to establish an effective application process to guarantee you get the right help. And speaking of “The Help,” watching this movie not only helped make a long flight feel much shorter, it reminded me to appreciate and encourage the help God has placed in my life. No matter the position or the person, make sure you let those who are sent to help you know how valuable they are to you. Tell them as Aibileen told Mae Mobley every day of her young life, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
Read Part 2
Lee Wilson has written a practical manual for recruiting and training your youth ministry team. It’s called LEAD, and it’s available now in our online store.