Grow your volunteer team through Sticky Faith Innovation Online Team Training

Caleb Roose, MDiv | Apr 14, 2021

I can’t remember feeling more awkward than I did on my first day of volunteering in youth ministry. I walked through the doors to a sea of faces I didn’t recognize and instantly felt out of place.

I had grown up in youth groups, volunteered in teen camps for years, and genuinely enjoyed engaging with young people—yet none of that seemed to matter now. Being someone who thrives more in small groups than in a big crowd, I needed a better idea of what I was supposed to do with myself. A flurry of questions swept through my mind:

What’s my role here?

What should I be doing right now?

Am I actually needed here?

I talked to a couple of teenagers and then sat down next to them during the service. After its conclusion, these were the answers that bubbled up in my mind:

What’s my role here?

Unclear.

What should I be doing right now?

Try to be an extrovert.

Am I actually needed here?

Probably not.

Years later, when I became a pastor, I noticed my volunteers felt that same need for a clear role, direction, and encouragement. Most adults aren’t looking to volunteer in youth ministry because they’re bored—they have plenty of other things to fill their time, and if they feel awkward or out of place, they’d rather be doing something else! They’re looking for purpose. They want to make a real difference in the lives of young people, and to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.

I think one of the hardest things about leading in the church is to gain and maintain momentum with our volunteer teams. It can be easy to fall into a rut of telling team members, “Just show up at the next service and talk to someone,” yet this falls short of offering genuine growth opportunities for our leaders and doesn’t lead to a thriving ministry with young people.

Here are 3 tips you can use to gain and maintain momentum with your youth ministry teams:

1. Care.

Get to know your current leaders and other adults in the church. What do they enjoy? What’s their personality like? What struggles are they facing? Getting to know the adults in your community can provide you with opportunities to connect them with young people in unique ways.

Rather than merely looking at volunteers through the lens of our ministry needs (such as, “Who’s going to do PowerPoint this weekend?”), we can begin to see them as whole persons who are on their own discipleship journeys. Serving and connecting with teenagers may be an adult’s next faithful step in following Jesus. Our new Sticky Faith Innovation Online Team Training can help you amplify your church members’ unique gifts and perspectives.

2. Clarify.

Provide volunteer leaders clarity on when they are truly needed for an activity, gathering, or program; what role you would like them to fulfill; and how long you need them for. Writing up basic job descriptions can help bring clarity for participating leaders. And the more you know the adults in your church, the better you’ll be at inviting them to participate in specific areas of your ministry that empower them to use their gifts to make a difference in the lives of the young people you serve. Youth leaders from our Sticky Faith Innovation research have told us time and time again how helpful it was to invite adults in their church to participate in a specific process with a clear goal of supporting teenagers’ lasting faith. We’ve now turned this innovation process into a self-paced, online training that can guide you and your team with clarity.

3. Cocreate.

Give others the opportunity to shape the future of your ministry. As my colleague Yulee Lee says, “People don’t want to follow you into the future. They want to cocreate the future with you.” Through our new Sticky Faith Innovation Online Team Training, we provide you and your team step-by-step guidance to create the future of your ministry—together.

Tweet this: Gaining and maintaining momentum with volunteer teams can be one of the hardest things about leading in the church. Here are 3 Sticky Faith Innovation tips that can help.


We know gaining and maintaining momentum with your team takes time and energy, so we’re making it easier for you. Our 6-session, self-paced online training will guide you and your team to compassionately listen to your young people, respond creatively with fresh ideas, and take courageous steps to implement a new, purposeful approach in your ministry. Think of it as a small group curriculum for your team.

This training features videos packed with research and insight from FYI’s innovation experts to guide your team through each step of the innovation process. And it empowers you to invite adults in your church to engage in your ministry in specific ways (Clarify), offering them opportunities to exercise their unique gifts (Care) to collaboratively design ministries that support young people’s lasting faith (Cocreate).

PLUS, when you sign up for Sticky Faith Innovation Online Team Training, you’ll get a COMPLIMENTARY 30-minute coaching call with an experienced FYI innovation leader!


Sticky Faith Innovation Online Team Training

As you begin turning your focus toward the end of one ministry season and the beginning of a new one, let Sticky Faith Innovation Online Team Training lead the way.


Sign up today




Photo by Alexis Brown

Caleb Roose, MDiv

Caleb Roose is a project manager at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), where he advises and facilitates FYI church trainings and research (Youth Ministry Innovations, Ministry Innovations with Young Adults, and Living a Better Story), coaches and consults with churches around the country, and develops resources. The coauthor of Sticky Faith Innovation: How Your Compassion, Creativity and Courage Can Support Teenagers' Lasting Faith with Steven Argue, Caleb is passionate about helping young people wrestle with their faith and encouraging leaders to do the same. Caleb has worked in a variety of ministry and professional roles, including volunteering in youth ministries, serving as an associate pastor of discipleship and administration, counseling at and running youth camps, ministering in six different countries with Youth With a Mission (YWAM), and managing an after-school program for kids. A Southern California native, Caleb lives 30 minutes from his hometown with his wife, Colleen, and two young daughters, Lilah and Eliana.


More from this author

More From Us

Hello, WELCOME TO FYI
Join the community

Sign up for our email today and choose from one of our popular free downloads sent straight to your inbox. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about our sales, offers, and new releases.

Join the community

Sign up for our email today and choose from one of our popular free downloads. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about our sales, offers, and new releases.