One of the biggest areas youth workers struggle with is training their leaders. Many of us are guilty of throwing our leaders into an intense, high-stakes game (youth ministry) without ever having them attend practice (training). Think of it in sports terms, it would be insanity to expect someone to perform to the best of their ability without ever practicing or training. But that is exactly what happens too often in youth ministry.
We need to train our leaders and equip them to take on the difficult situations they will encounter. Youth ministry can be scary but when we prepare our leaders we can remove some of that scariness.
Here are 5 tips on training your leaders…
1. Schedule regular trainings
If you don’t have regularly scheduled times to train it is so easy to not do it at all, or only squeeze in one or two a year. Your leaders need to be trained regularly in order to make your team as strong as possible.
In my ministry we meet every-other month to catch up on what is going on in the ministry and train to be better youth workers. Having a set schedule keeps us accountable and ensures my leaders stay sharp.
2. Use Resources
There are a ton of resources out there for training leaders, use them! Don’t be afraid to utilize a video, book, article or anything else you can find to help train your leaders.
Here are some great places to find resources…
3. Bring in an outside voice
Have someone other than you train your leaders. That person might have a different perspective, more insight, or they may simply say they exact same thing but your leaders need to hear it from someone other than you. Trade with another youth pastor, you do a training for their team in exchange for them doing one for yours. Having someone other than you train your leaders can be extremely helpful for them, you, and the team.
4. Send training emails
If you are the main youth worker youth ministry stuff is always in front of you. But that is not always the case for our volunteer leaders. Send your leaders blog posts, articles, or simply a few insightful words of training directly to their inboxes. Sure, they might not open all of your emails, and if they do they might not read them, but at least you are providing your leaders with constant training and giving them resources and opportunity to improve themselves.
5. Utilize Conferences
Whether it is a one day training, or a full 3 day conference it can be extremely valuable for training your leaders. Yes, they cost a lot of money but in the end it is worth it to take your leaders to a conference or training opportunity. Planning your budget to invest in people (your leaders) over programming is not only being a wise steward, but it will also improve the quality of your ministry.
Training is extremely important but it can also be intimating if you are the one that has to train. We hope these tips help you in making your leaders the best they can be to reach students and guide them into a relationship with Jesus. If you have any questions please email us at Stokedonyouthministry@gmail.com
Todd has been in youth ministry for over 10 years and has a passion for reaching lost students and training youth workers to do the same. He is the founder of Stoked On Youth Ministry, a speaker, author, and pastor. When Todd is not writing or speaking he enjoys surfing, baseball and most importantly hanging out with his awesome wife and three beautiful daughters. You can connect with Todd on Twitter @TheTodd_Jones, Instagram @Todd_Jones or for speaking inquiries visit TheToddJones.com