Volunteers, a precious resource we can’t afford to lose. —Denise Penn
Do your volunteers know how much you appreciate them? They should. Lack of volunteer appreciation is a major reason for high turnover rates among volunteers, and appreciation can be directly tied to retention. Retention is huge for all organizations that heavily rely on volunteers but especially for youth ministry for three reasons:
When you evaluate the cost of losing volunteers, can you afford for volunteer retention to not move up your priority list?
People feel appreciated and are motivated in a variety of ways. Here are some things you can do to show your appreciation, based on the three primary ways people are motivated.
Some folks are competitive and therefore motivated by accomplishments, so you can appreciate these folks by:
Others are motivated by social interaction:
Finally, there are those who are motivated by influence/power:
Of course, people overlap into more than one of these groups. I bring these up to remind us that not every form of appreciation works with every personality type. Take time to think about how each of your volunteers might best be acknowledged and appreciated.
The things that are truly a priority in your ministry are the ones on your to-do list. So, if volunteer retention is a priority, then make sure its on your to-do list.
Appreciation can be done in hundreds of different ways. Here are 10 that I’ve found effective. Add your suggestions in the comments section below!
We are hearing from numerous youth ministers that during this season their plate is just too full. Caring for others is a ministry staple, but often it comes at the expense of caring for oneself. Self care for the Youth MInister is so important. If you don’t take time for yourself and your own relationship with God, not only will you suffer, but eventually your students will too.
We’ve created a Pandemic Youth Week curriculum bundle that combines elements of both a summer camp and a youth week. Many youth are missing out on both of these due to cancelled camps and trips among other cancelled important events your youth would usually attend. We’ve written this curriculum such that it can be used in person while socially distancing, online, or some combination of both.
Despite all the challenges the pandemic has presented to youth ministries, it has also created an opportunity to allow youth more involvement in worship. Although youth sunday will look very different this year, it is a great opportunity to empower our youth to be leaders. Youth’s comfort and familiarity with technology make them a great resource for churches who are seeking to move their worship services online for the first time.