Ten minutes before a Wednesday night was supposed to begin, I got pulled aside by a volunteer.

“Hey Ronald, after tonight, can we talk?”

Oh boy. I’ve had these conversations before, I thought. I asked this young woman if she was “breaking up with me (aka, the student ministry).” Most of the time, that’s how those conversations get started. She laughed and said no, but assured me that she needed to speak to me afterwards.

Fast forward an hour and a half and we’re sitting in a small group room, kids still roaming the hallways after a great night of ministry.

She looks me in the eye and asks what’s on her mind.

“Why did you choose me to be a small group leader? I see you and the other student pastor and you’re so out there and energetic. I’m just not.”

I was floored!

Sure, this girl sitting across from me wasn’t the “typical” student volunteer. She wasn’t loud or super energetic. She didn’t go to extra measures to make sure you knew she had entered the room. She was fairly quiet and unassuming.

But she LOVES on her small group.

She listens to her girls. She contacts them during the week. She teaches them the Word and prays over them and for them.

I listed these reasons (and several others) in answer to her question.

She was encouraged, even to the point of asking to share her testimony to the whole middle school ministry sometime in the future (which I’m super excited about)!

Are you encouraging your volunteers on a regular basis?

Are you recruiting volunteers who don’t fit the “normal” mold of a student volunteer?

Ensure your team is diverse and that you encourage them to minister to students how God has gifted them!


Ronald is a Middle School pastor in San Antonio, TX and a DYM Author. Check his resource out here!