Any good leader within the church knows that volunteers play a huge part when it comes to executing the vision and strategy. But some leaders don’t see the value of volunteers. They get stuck in the mindset of “I get paid for this, so I should do it.” In reality, most great volunteers want more, but we just say “no” for them, OR we give volunteers more, but they don’t know how to “win” or be successful.
Part of our job as leaders is to set up our volunteers well, beginning when they first join our team.
We are getting ready for another volunteer push. In this new year, we have challenged our leaders to each recruit one person themselves to join our student team to either serve alongside them during service or to help them co-lead their small group.
But we also know with an influx of leaders, the volunteer process needs to be solid. The last thing we need is just warm bodies to say we have “enough” volunteers but great adults who have been trained well to know what they are doing. As the leader, we are responsible for the success of our leaders. If they walk into a service not knowing what exactly they should be doing, we have failed them.
The onboarding process should be where they are trained on how your ministry runs and operates, what their “wins” should be, ensuring that they know what wins they should go for, and communicating what leadership wants for them.
A solid volunteer process results in solid volunteers.
We have worked hard to create a great onboarding system for our leaders, and I thought we would share our process with you. I hope that it is helpful.
This is taken out of our volunteer application. The leader knows what they are getting into from the start, and they have the whole process laid out in front of them. You can take this process, or you can adjust it. The most important thing is that you have one. The last thing our students deserve is a leader who thrown into the fire without any direction. They deserve better.
When leaders are interested, this is what they get:
HOW TO JOIN THE TEAM:
STEP 1: FILL OUT THE STUDENT MINISTRY LEADER APPLICATION PACKET
This can be printed out, or it can be filled out online, and a PDF version will be sent to the potential leader. It gives an overview of our ministry and highlights the expectations we have of leaders. This application was developed to gain information from you in order to enhance our ability to set you up for success in serving. It is lengthy, but we take our responsibility seriously to put together an effective team. Be sure to turn in a signed application, Student Ministry Code of Conduct and Standards of Behavior form, as well as a signed Background Check Authorization form. We require a new one if a volunteer has already signed one from a previous serving opportunity in the past.
STEP 2: CONTACT BY STUDENTS STAFF
Once we have your application turned in, we will set up a time to meet with you. This is an opportunity for us to meet with you in order to connect and hear your story and desire to be involved in Student Ministries. It is also a time for you to ask questions about this packet, about the ministry, and anything you want to know about our ministry. We will also give you a more detailed overview of the ministry and help you choose a time to visit and observe one of our services.
STEP 3: SIGN IN AND COMPLETE SCY ONLINE TRAINING
We are all about relational ministry. In order for volunteers to understand the best possible way we can practically do this on Wednesday nights, we want to make sure all of our leaders are operating off of the same standard. This is why we made an in-house training of our WINS for leaders via video, so that way our leaders can all be trained by the same system.
You could go CLICK HERE if you yourself wanted to go through it and check it out. It’s free.
DYM’s online training program is another great way to get your volunteers all trained and on the same page. Check out Youth Ministry University here!
STEP 4: PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER YOUR COMMITMENT
We want volunteers to take the time to pray and think through this commitment. We also encourage them to seek the counsel of family and friends regarding their serving commitment.
STEP 5: OBSERVE SERVICES
This is a good opportunity to get a better feel for the ministry. A volunteer will shadow one of our core volunteers for three weeks. This will give them the chance to meet students and other leaders, see our services, as well as formulate questions for future meetings. We aim to ensure volunteers know exactly what they need to do when their “shadowing time” is done.
STEP 6: SECOND SIT DOWN
After volunteers complete their shadowing, we will sit down and chat through what they experienced over the three weeks. We are always excited to hear what God has shown them through this process. We will determine where exactly they want to serve.
STEP 7: GET YOUR LEADER SHIRT AND NAME TAG & BECOME AN OFFICIAL LEADER
WOO! They did it! They are now official. We wear t-shirts because we are on the same team! When you go to any sporting event, you wear the things of that team, in the same way, we do this with our leaders. We are all on the same team and support each other, pray together, have fun, and point students to Jesus.
If you want to get your hands on the FULL version of Justin’s leader onboarding process, you can get it HERE on DYM.
Director of Kids & Youth at Sandals Church. Host of Youth Ministry Hacks Podcast.