youth ministry, youth worker, teaching, facilitation

The Managing Youth Worker

By Doug Franklin January 20, 2011

When we think about youth workers, we often think about people who love to work with students. After all, most youth workers are hired because churches think their students will like them. Now, more and more churches are starting to hire youth workers who serve as managers instead of kid people. This is an interesting phenomenon. It illustrates the importance of the adult volunteer in youth ministry. If a youth ministry’s capacity to reach students is measured by its number of adult volunteers, then this trend will continue.
When youth workers who are great kid people try to become managers, they often struggle. It is difficult for them to transition from being kid-oriented to being adult-oriented. The key to managing adult volunteers is accountability. Accountability requires face-to-face confrontation. These confrontations are often friendly, but they can be difficult when hard things need to be said. If you are trying to make the transition from being a kid-oriented youth worker to a manager, it’s important for you to find a mentor who can help you. This transition can be tricky — we have to change the way we talk and the way we interact, and we have to be very tactful with our communication. Having a mentor or a leadership coach to help you through this transition is vitally important. To find a mentor or a leadership coach, look around you. There are lots of people at your church that play these kind of roles in their company or in their organization. Ask one of them to help you improve as a manager. A mentor can help you make this transition successfully and teach you quite a bit about leadership in the process.

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