10 Terrible Tips for Recruiting Adult Volunteers for Youth Ministries

Recruiting adult volunteers for youth ministry can be a daunting task. It requires careful planning, lots of encouragement, and a welcoming attitude to build a strong team.  There are so many lists of good ideas. What if you hear some of the worst ones?  If you want to struggle in ministry alone, limit your impact, or make your superiors and parents mad at your church, do these ten things and see your recruitment efforts go down in flames:

  1. Make No Effort to Know Their Names: Constantly refer to potential volunteers as “Hey you!” or “That guy.” This will definitely make them feel valued and known.
  2. Use Reverse Psychology: Tell them repeatedly how awful it is working with teenagers and that they probably can’t handle it. Nothing like a confidence boost to get volunteers rushing in!
  3. Offer Zero Training: Just throw them into the deep end with no prep. Who needs guidance or understanding of teen dynamics? It’s sink or swim time!
  4. Schedule Meetings at Impossible Times: Plan all volunteer meetings for 3 AM on Wednesday mornings. Because who doesn’t love sacrificing sleep midweek?
  5. Keep the Expectations Vague: Provide absolutely no details on what their role will entail. Ambiguity is key to creating a sense of mystery and dread.
  6. Overwhelm Them Immediately: Hand them a 100-page manual on day one and expect them to memorize it by tomorrow. If they aren’t already running for the hills, they soon will be!
  7. Guilt Trip Galore: Use phrases like “If you really loved Jesus, you’d volunteer” or “Think of the children suffering without your help.” Nothing says ‘welcome’ like a hefty side of guilt.
  8. Ignore Their Strengths: Assign your tech-savvy volunteer to arts and crafts and your creative artist to manage the sound system. It’s important to keep things inefficient!
  9. Never Thank Them: Treat their dedication and hard work as something you’re entitled to. After all, who needs gratitude when you’re working for a higher cause?
  10. Public Shame for Mistakes: Make sure to point out every mistake in front of the entire group. Public humiliation is a great motivator, right?

Remember, these tips are guaranteed to keep your volunteer roster empty. Happy recruiting!

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