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A Volunteer Meeting They’ll Actually Look Forward To

By Guest Contributor April 6, 2015

By Phil Bell

What makes a volunteer meeting effective? What makes it worthwhile? What do we need to cover? How can we help volunteers feel like their time has been well spent? Most importantly, how can we equip volunteers to grow in their skills as they invest in students? Those are some of the questions I have asked myself over the years. Maybe you have, too.

Here’s the basic format I follow to ensure that we cover the most essential items in 60 minutes or less. Most of our volunteers are strapped for time, and we need to honor the little time they have.

Before every meeting: Write an agenda (and include a timeline if you need to stay on track). Even if you are not the most organized person, this is a must! Agendas ensure that you stay on task. Marking times on your agenda will help you honor volunteers by getting them home to their families in a reasonable time.

1) Devotion and Vision Casting: Simply put, we look at Scripture to clarify why we do what we do from week to week. It can also serve to guide us in the “how to” of ministry.

2) Highlights and Helps:

  • Highlights:This is an opportunity for me to listen to my volunteers. They share stories, celebrate victories, and provide insights into how God is moving in the lives of students. It’s easy to default to challenges and needed improvements, so leaders are encouraged to share their positive highlights first. This also serves to clarify the vision of why we do what we do. Nothing casts vision better than a story of a changed life.
  • Helps: I listen to my volunteers as they share ministry issues they need help with. Often other volunteers will jump in with solutions they have discovered for themselves. I also have opportunities to provide quick training moments with my volunteers. If someone shares a weightier issue, I will usually ask that volunteer to schedule a time to talk later.

3) Tips and Tweaks: As I go through the ministry month, I keep a running list of things we need to improve, change, or adapt. This is a short time for me to give specific (and short) training to my volunteers.

4) Review: We look at past teaching series, events, or programs to review how they went. We always debrief what we have done. That way we can take notes and provide solutions for next time.

5) Look Ahead:

  • Teaching Series:I usually give a basic, three-month outline of the upcoming series. This is a huge help for volunteers who like to plan. It also helps improve your creativity as you begin to percolate on ideas in the coming months.
  • Events:I reveal and describe upcoming outreach, connection, and servant events.
  • Next Meeting Date:Always, always, always provide the next meeting date! Help your volunteers make your meetings a priority by giving them the date well in advance before their schedules fill up.

6) Prayer Time: This should be a given, but it often gets missed at the end of a meeting. If need be, assign this to a volunteer who will not forget!


What do would you add to this list? What staples have you established in your youth ministry meetings?

About the Author

Guest Contributor

The LeaderTreks Blog is proud to share the hard-earned wisdom of student ministry leaders from many different backgrounds and professions. From time to time, we will feature guest blog posts from writers other than our regular contributors. We include these posts to provide additional perspectives and insight that we’re sure will help develop you and your ministry…  Read More