student ministry, youth ministry, student leadership

The Death Of The Welcome Team

By Doug Franklin October 3, 2013

When a youth worker tells me their student leadership team is not working, usually the first example they give me is the welcome team and how students are not committed to making it successful. I don’t know about you but as a student I thought being on the welcome team was like being picked last for kick-ball. How on earth did the welcome team become the bell weather for student leadership?

So the socially awkward junior boy had a hard time making the hot senior girl feel comfortable when she visited the youth group? Oh… he was partnered with the sophomore girl from the other high school and it still didn’t help. Shocking.

I honestly think successful welcome teams are a urban legend. You know the story of the youth group in California that developed a dynamic group of welcomers that were able to make hundreds of students feel comfortable and open to joining their youth group. And one of those new students grew up to be Rick Warren.

Student move in herds. They learn this behavior in jr. high and it continues through high school. They only feel truly comfortable in their herd. They seldom change herds and if they do it requires a transformation experience to make it happen.

Let’s teach students how to be disciples of Christ. The kind of disciples that make other disciples. If we do this we will be building the kingdom.  Also, let’s welcome the new students and get to know them and pair them with a herd they can relate to.

Are you at all surprised that you’ve never heard, “I got my start in leadership on the welcome team in youth group”? Because it rarely happens.

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