There are countless things that I love about youth ministry; one of those things is the explosion of job descriptions for volunteers in the ministry. These job descriptions list qualifications and expectations, which are all good and needed things; but to be honest, it freaked some people out in my ministry. I am not saying that my volunteers did not like to hear about what qualified them or what we expected from them, because they did, but it appeared that we were boxing it up too much.
In a lot of ways volunteer leaders are fragile. They have many questions like: Am I too young? Am I too old? Am I cool enough? Do I know enough? Do I have enough experience? Will students like me? Will staff like me? Will my schedule allow me to serve for a long period of time?
There are so many questions that we all have to freak ourselves out in student ministry, but none of them them have ultimate importance. Therefore, these aren’t the questions that should take precedence in the interview process; and therefore, they aren’t even necessary.
For a while I would lead interviews with potential volunteers with job descriptions. I thought that by doing this I was so cool and so relevant… but I was SO wrong. They just needed two really important questions and my willingness to figure out the rest, as their leader. I needed them to give me the pieces and then the drive so that I could put it all together.
After talking to a lot of my leaders at Mariners Church these are the two questions I came up with.
1. What are you passionate about?
2. How much time do you have?
They may seem soft at first, but look closer; these questions are the backbone of all of the Junior High leaders we have. I want to know what a leader’s passions are and what drives them. I also want to know what their schedule looks like to fulfill that passion. For every passion we can make a way to fit that in to Junior High Ministry.
We as staff need to be the creative facilitators for our leaders. They don’t know ministry, so they don’t know how their gifts and talents can be used in the ministry. That is why they count on us without even knowing it at times. It is our role to help send them to action.