First, I think it starts with giving clear expectations for your leaders. If they know what is expected, it helps them fulfill their role effectively. Our expectations are centered around the idea that the youth ministry is not built around the youth pastor. We make it clear to students, parents, and our youth leaders that the youth leaders are the ones who are going to shepherd, coach and mentor the students. There are some expectations in place. For example, youth leaders have quarterly outings with their small group, one on one with a student once a month, attend their events as often as possible, and being prepared when a leader does meet with a student. Having these, and other clear expectations, helps keep quality leaders.
Second, these four guys have the capacity to lead. So, I need to know how to equip them in their work with students. Being a Sheriff, Teacher, Marketing Director and Banker, these men are all high level professionals. Each time I meet with them I need to be prepared. I need to have a well thought-out teaching plan to help them feel more equipped in working with students. If I show up each month at our training not prepared, with something thrown together, they will see through that and become discouraged in volunteering in the youth ministry. We must be just as professional and just prepared as they are when it comes to our jobs. Each month when we meet we begin with lunch. It's during that time I share some vision for the youth ministry. This is followed by some leadership training. It can consist of specific youth ministry tips or basic leadership skills. After time spent on training, we cover the calendar and finish with time in prayer. This is often broken into our MS and HS teams.
More on how we train and keep our leaders will be coming in the next few days.