Some youth ministry leaders respond to your very well planned and articulated annual leader recruitment effort, the worship bulletin blurb accompanied by a stirring-yet-whimsical appeal from the pulpit followed up with a one-on-one over coffee to discern their interests and gifts while presenting the rewards and challenges of leading youth. I love it when that happens.
Other youth ministry leaders jump in with only a few days’ notice. You need an additional leader for the weekend retreat. It’s Wednesday. You email all the parents. One replies: “I’ll go.” I love it when that happens.*
The leadership of your youth ministry is made up of multiyear veterans and newbies, parents and non, young adults and retirees. They all say”yes” to leading youth for different reasons and during different seasons of their life (some repeat that “yes” in multiple life stages). Some come to weekly youth group. Some go on retreats. Some lead mission trips. Without you.
But they all have an origin story. They all were either invited or they volunteered, out of a personal sense of calling to help young people or a desire just to be helpful. I think a healthy youth ministry has leaders with a variety of origin stories as well as a variety of interests and gifts.
*Of course, whether they come to leadership months or days ahead of your event, all leaders of youth get the child protection policy and turn in the background check authorization