The Second Date
In the last blog on volunteer recruitment we looked at The First Date. Very cleverly this blog follows on the conversation and has been iconically given the title ‘The Second Date’. #shakespeare
We spoke about what it looked like to have a place for potential volunteers to ask questions, enjoy a relaxed environment, and to find out some of their passions and talents. At the end of the first date, both leader and potential volunteer are asked to go and spend time in prayer and decide if youth ministry is for them. Here begins the second date.
The second date, like any normal second date is a place where both people can get to know each other that bit better. See, it’s typically on a second date where some deeper questions, detailed stories, and some of life’s big questions slip their way into conversation. This is no different for recruiting volunteers. It’s on the second date where some of life’s big questions are asked, expectations are established and roles are offered.
So where to begin? I’d recommend heading back to the place where you had the first date, or maybe you’d like to have this conversation at your youth offices (if you have them). Start the conversation with asking how their prayer time has been, and if they have felt God’s peace over the process. See potential leaders may have one hundred and one questions (which they should) but having peace over the role is a sure pointer of God’s guidance. If either yourself or your potential volunteer don’t believe that being a youth leader is an option, I would encourage you to link them up with somebody else who can further their gifting and serving.
Hopefully though, you are at a place with your potential volunteer that both of you believe that youth ministry is a go! This is an exciting place to be! So, here are a couple things that you must cover in your second date:
1. LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES – Don’t hide the fact that being a leader is a great responsibility. Especially in youth ministry with kids looking up to leaders, it is important for new leaders to know that this requires high responsibility. The way we live our life often speaks greater to youth than what we share during youth group.
2. POTENTIAL ROLES – At our church we have a number of potential roles from social nights contributor, to small group leader, to weekend teacher. Offer the roles available to your new leader and see what area they would like to serve in.
3. PAPERWORK – The nightmare of any youth pastor is the P word. However, speaking from experience, the longer you neglect the essential paperwork, the harder it is to get them completed. Most churches now have a new volunteer form and police checks, so get them done early! They are really important!
4. EXPECTATIONS – I remember hearing from a potential volunteer once who was shocked by the input we expected from our leaders. And that is partly because we aim high. It is good not to shock new leaders with unexpected training days, retreats, paperworks, meal nights and other events. Be open and upfront. We let all our new leaders know that they will have to complete a ‘plan-to-protect’ course, come on an annual leaders retreat, and will be coached by an older leader with youth ministry experience. We don’t leave any unhidden expectations.
5. THE NEXT STEP – Give your new leader the next step. That may be something as simple as turning up to youth the following week, or it might be connecting them with their new small group co-leader. Always provide a next step.
After having a first and second date, you can be sure that you are getting to know potential leaders well and your ministry is growing with healthy leaders who have purpose and direction.