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Letting A Student Ministry Adult Volunteer Go.... | REyouthpastor.com | Home youth ministry, youth pastor
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Letting A Student Ministry Adult Volunteer Go….

Letting a volunteer leader go is part of the process of leading. There is just no easy way around it. Adult volunteer leader recruitment is tough enough, but having to let a leader go is not an enjoyable experience. I think many student pastors avoid letting volunteers go because it is tough and in reality they are only “volunteers”. But are they only “volunteers”?

Adult leaders are the engine of the ministry……so it would make sense to have the right parts in place in order to have a sustainable student ministry.

Sometimes student pastors have to make the hard call by asking a leader to leave in order to advance their youth ministry and their team. It is all about getting the wrong leaders off of the bus and getting the right leaders on the bus.

When to discern it is time to let a leader go:
– Moral failure
– Not meeting expectations after multiple reminders
– Not a cultural fit
– Not committed to student ministry values and mission
– Continuous undermining authority
– Divisive
– Not spiritually cutting it anymore
– Personal issues projecting and getting in the way of youth group’s mission and team dynamics
– Verbally, emotionally, and spiritually abusive towards teens
– Family problems

Some times student pastors get desperate for help and we will bring anyone on board in order to have an adult presence and help. However student pastor run the risk of compromising their student ministry well being and longevity when getting the wrong types of leaders.

How to prevent letting go of adult volunteer leaders:
– Have an application process
– Have an interview with youth pastor
– Have weekly/bi-weekly meeting with leaders
– Have a 4-6 week “try out” or observation period with no string attached for potential leaders
– Have leaders sign the adult volunteer covenant/expectations
– Develop a job description and meet regularly because jobs will change
– Identity key traits that you want in a leader
– Know their spiritual gifts and personality strengths and weakness
– Ask the questions of: Can I work with this person? Do I like this person? Will teens like this person?
– Empower leaders according to their gift set
– Character reference and background check
– Provide open channels of communication so leaders can express criticisms

How do you avoid adult volunteer dropout?
How do you get adult volunteers to stick around for a while?
Should there be a restoration process for adult leaders who may need a time out from student ministry?
Am I being to harsh?

About Jeremy Zach

Orange XP3 Specialist | Youth Worker | MDIV | Hot Sauce Addict | Dr. Dre Beats Lover

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  1. Hey Jeremy,

    Good thoughts! We’ve been going through a “Thinning the herd” process and I boiled it down to 5 areas that all youth leaders need to perform in. I think the simplicity and generality helped make it easy to communicate and yet, when I had to challenge a few people in different areas they were understanding. Here’s what we used:

    1) Love God – Privately and Publicly
    2) Love students – be intentional about getting into their lives
    3) Communicate – If you won’t be around, tell me!
    4) Be available – If you can’t make it most of the time, maybe we should shift some of your responsibilities
    5) Set a good example – In worship, during the lesson, on facebook or wherever.

  2. Appreciated the post. I actually had to do this as a Youth Pastor and it was a painful thing to do, but the right thing to do. Divisiveness in the Youth Ministry and the church AND emotionally abusive to a few of the teens were two of the primary reasons I had to make the decision. Not fun, but my ministry benefitted from the decision.

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