We are a few weeks into the ministry year and our team is really starting to hit their stride. Leaders are finding their groove, students are getting back into the routine and for the most part our youth nights are happening with few noticeable glitches, but of course behind the scenes there we a few bumps here and there but who doesn’t love a challenge? In our ministry we have all sorts of people serving in all kinds of areas including: small group leaders, door hosts, welcome centre hosts, cooking teams, student band members, tech volunteers, set up and tear down crews amongst others each having an important role to play.

Sadly, of some of the positions lend themselves to being perceived more “important” or at least more glamourous than others. It is because of these perceptions that it is vital to each volunteer on your team for them to hear that what they do matters, no matter what it is they do. I try and make a point to let every one of our volunteers know as often as possible how proud I am of them. That I am proud of the fact that they serve so loyally and with so much heart, but also to help them see where their piece of the puzzle fits into the big picture of what we do as a whole.

Here are a few examples of notes a I might send or encouragement I might give to our team.

Welcome Team: Thanks so much for being the frontline of our youth ministry. Coming into a big group of teenagers they don’t know can be really intimidating for many students and their first impression of feeling welcomed or not will greatly affect whether or not they come back. Thanks to you being so incredibly friendly and helping them feel safe and welcome here because without you, that new student may never hear the what Jesus did for them. We are so thankful to have you on the Welcome Team!

Cooking Team: Thank you so much for making dinner for the band and set up crew, you have no idea how much time is saved by have students eat here, but more importantly how much closer the student leaders are because they get to sit and break bread together each week. As the students and leaders eat together, it is fun to watch the bond between them grow as well. Your serving of this meal leaves more time for the band to practice and be prepared for when they are to play later. Enjoying this meal together is a highlight of my week, thanks for helping make it happen.

Tech Team: Thanks so much for your hard work in setting up the band, the lighting, the slides and all the games. Your hard work behind the scenes is invaluable to what we do here at Journey. Your passion to have the music sound great and have the lights just right helps create an atmosphere that isn’t distracting, but facilitates students experiencing and meeting with God through Worship. Many people will have their first tangible encounter with God in a Worship service and it is thanks to people like you that the environment exists where that can happen. Thanks so much for all the time you put in, it is noticed and greatly appreciated.

There are so many others that we could list, but helping each person see the value that their part plays in the function of the whole is vital to your leaders feeling engaged and encouraged that it matters, that it is Kingdom work and through it God is being glorified.

-Geoff @geoffcstewart