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youth worker, student ministry, youth ministry

3 Things To Never Say To Your Volunteers

By Doug Franklin July 18, 2013

Many of us in youth ministry know how important our words can be. We try and say things that will uplift and encourage our followers. We know that our words have the power to cut or care so most of the time we say things that help people. But sometimes we say things that we wish we could take back, things that seemed good to us but ended up negitive. So what things do we want to make sure we never say to our volunteers?

1. Try and teach like me
I know you thinking that you are really good teachers and yes, you do set a good example but don’t say this. The last thing you want is for your volunteers to be mimics of you. God made each of us unique and when we use the strengths and gifts He gave us we will be effective. Trying to be like Super youth worker Joe will never work for the average volunteer. In fact trying to be like Joe will actually be a turn-off to the volunteer. When they don’t add up they will become frustrated and want to quit. Encourage your volunteers to discover their gifts and use them. This will bring them joy!

2. Whatever you do, just keep the kids from killing each other
You might as well say, “your only job is to enforce the rules” or “just put in the time, that’s all we ask.” However you interpret this statement, it’s not good. Never tell your volunteers the least they have to do. This says, you’re not important and we are just trying to get through this. It’s not very inspiring and it doesn’t cast any vision for life change in students. Also challenge your volunteers to do above and beyond. People follow vision, if you don’t have one then you don’t have volunteers.

3. Parents don’t get youth ministry or the pastor doesn’t get youth ministry
When you disrespect an authority volunteers get nervous. They know that you’re not in charge and that you don’t have the experience most parents and pastors have. Your disrespect of these people will make you look immature and stupid. I know at times you are frustrated with them but you need to learn submission. Taking your frustration out in your front of your volunteers will do more to hurt your leadership than almost anything else. Speak highly of your parents and pastors. Give them respect and the other volunteers will respect you.

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