How to Recruit the Right Youth Workers

It takes a special person to be a youth worker, and not everyone can do it.  These are people who will be guiding the future of the church and the world.  That might sound like an exaggeration, but a youth worker has a lot of influence on how Christian teens are looking at the world, so it’s important to recruit the right youth workers to guide the teens in your youth group.  Here are some ways you can find the right volunteers:

Make It Seem Attractive and Meaningful
It’s hard for some people to see the need to lead teenagers, because they see them a little adults who don’t need them.  Meanwhile others aren’t sure teens would actually even be open to listening to what they had to say.  So it’s important to make sure that we open up a dialogue on how much teens actually do rely on their youth workers, how meaningful the work can be, and how it’s an amazing type of ministry that has a long-term influence on others.

Have a List of Clear Expectations
While we want to make youth ministry seem attractive, we also need to make sure those interested in being a youth worker understand the commitment involved.  If someone expresses interest, make sure to outline how much time is needed, what type of things they’ll be doing, and character traits you’re looking for in a youth worker.  Also outline what the youth workers can expect of you, like when you’ll communicate key dates and activities, what type of training you’ll provide, and what type of support you can give.

Ask Your Current Youth Workers for Help
If you are lucky enough to have a team of youth workers that you rely on, ask them if they know people who would also be good in the role.  Good youth workers know what it takes to be that important and Godly influence, so they’re usually going to know when someone else shares those same traits.

Invite Them to Observe
While it’s important to talk about expectations and make the job seem attractive, it is also helpful to see a potential youth worker in action.  When we’re looking for the right youth workers, you want to know that they can navigate the teenagers’ world with ease and feel responsible for them.  So maybe invite them to a youth service or activity to see how they interact with the students and other youth workers.  This will allow you to see if they are a good fit for your ministry.

Know the Holes to Be Filled
It’s important to youth ministry to have a pool of youth workers that can take on different aspects of the ministry.  Some are more administrative oriented, taking on tasks like data management and helping to pay bills.  Some are more socially oriented, schmoozing and interacting with students.  Some are planners who help put together events like retreats and Bible studies.  It’s important to know what your youth group needs to find the right worker who will fill that void.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
Some people have big hearts and true desire to do something good, but youth ministry just isn’t for everyone.  Unfortunately, it’s important to have the ability to say, “Thank you, but not at this time,” to some well-meaning people.

  Just like you want to make being a youth worker something attractive, you also want to make sure you’re accepting the right workers into leadership positions.  That’s why all the steps above are so important, because sometimes people just aren’t right for the position, and we have to say no to them.