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student ministry, youth ministry, interview questions, ministry interview

3 Questions for Potential Adult Volunteers

By Doug Franklin August 13, 2013

I realize that most adult volunteers are a gift from God but honestly, do we really want all that apply? Some of you are saying, “Yes we do. We will take anyone who loves students and is breathing.” I know we all have a great need for adult volunteers in our ministries but the wrong volunteer can cost you more than you think. The key is to have a intentional interview with the potential volunteer before they ever begin. Start by being skeptical. Remember your job is to protect students, as well as help them grow spiritually. Your mindset can’t be I’m going to help this person get through this interview. Your mindset must be, Prove to me that your heart is set on serving students and their families.

Here are 3 questions for the intentional interview:

1. Do you have the courage to build a transformational relationship with a student?
Most adult volunteers don’t see their job as building life-changing relationships with students. They see their role as one of support for the youth worker. These folks are great at helping with logistics but they won’t really help move the spiritual depth of the ministry forward.

The real issue here is courage. Does the adult have the courage to get involved in the mess of a student’s life. Real courage is needed to make a difference in a student. Courage to challenge, confront and hold accountable is all the work of a disciple maker.

2. Are you wiling to partner with parents?
Youth ministry today needs to be done in partnership with parents. Long gone are the days of the hero adult volunteer who fixes every student they meet. Adult volunteers need to see themselves as extensions of the parents’ ministry. Are they willing to put in the extra time and come along side of what the parents are doing to disciple their children? This also means they have to set aside time to meet with parents so they can be on the same page.

3. Are you willing to follow my leadership?
Adult volunteers have to realize they are part of a team. A team that needs to work together to reach its ministry goals. Is the potential volunteer willing to join the vision of the lead youth worker? This means that the lead youth workers need to be to cast the vision so the potential adult volunteer can know what they are joining.

Having a yes to this question can help in the years to come. When this adult volunteer goes rogue, you can sit with them and ask this same question again and can repeat the importance of everyone being on the same page.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More