As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10)
Each person has wonderful talents and gifts given to them by God. These gifts are meant for the service of others. As youth ministers who lead a team of adults to serve the teens and families of our parishes, our team members come to us with a wide variety of gifts. How can youth ministers insure that their team is utilizing their gifts in the best way to build up youth ministry in our parishes? Here are some tips to insure that your team’s gifts are being utilized to make it the best year ever!
Write ministry team descriptions for each role on the team.
There are various roles within youth ministry. Some are core members. Others are cooks that provide food for youth nights. There are also those that serve on the hospitality, worship or prayer team. Each role is as important as the other roles. Take a look at what each role provides for the team and write specific ministry team descriptions for each role. Give one to current and new members of the team. This can serve as an important discernment tool for the team member to help them decide exactly how their gifts can help the team!
Interview each new team member before they join the team.
It is important for the youth minister to interview each person before they join the team. Ask him or her to discern if youth ministry is the role for them. Encourage them to consider what role within the youth ministry they would like serve in each week. This is after they have filled out a team application which asks such questions as,
“How did you decide you would like to be involved with youth ministry?”
“What previous experience of youth ministry have you had as part of a youth ministry team?”
“After reviewing the ministry team descriptions, which role do you see yourself serving in as part of the team?”
“What does it mean to you to be a servant as part of the youth ministry team?”
Discuss the answers to these questions with them during the interview. The answers to these important questions will give you a clue as to what the potential team member’s knowledge and expectations are. This will help them discern what their role on the youth ministry team is.
Periodically check-in with each team member.
It is vital to check-in with each team member throughout the year to see how things are going. How do they feel things are going? What ideas do they have for improvement? Do you have any ideas for improvement for them? Consistent, open communication is important to see how each team member sees their role as the year progresses. This is also a great way to prevent any issues for the team members before they arise!
Discerning the gifts each team member brings to the youth ministry is a process of prayerful discernment and open communication. They are two ingredients that make for a functional and dynamic team! Best wishes to you and your team during the upcoming youth ministry year!