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Some do’s and don’ts for youth ministry volunteers

I would not be where I am at without the help of a myriad of volunteers in my youth ministry. An amazing volunteer will help cover a multitude of a youth minister’s sins but the opposite is also true; a cruddy volunteer will cause a youth minister to have many an elder’s meeting. I thought it would be helpful to give some do’s and don’ts for volunteers in youth ministry. I want to state first that I am so thankful for the many volunteers that have sacrificed their time and money to help in our ministry. Here are some of my jumbled thoughts:


  • …try to know the specifics of the activity you have signed up for.
  • …ask specifically where your talents could help in the overall aspect of the ministry.
  • …your best to have the youth minister’s back when it comes to controversy.
  • …speak to the youth minister first if you have an issue with the ministry.
  • …develop yourself spiritually so you can be the best example for the teens.
  • …study for a class if you are teaching it.
  • …ask questions if your role is vague in a certain activity or function.
  • …invite families from your work or neighborhood to participate.


  • …act like a teenager and try to be the cool volunteer.
  • …show favoritism to certain teenagers because they are more “likeable.”
  • …talk behind the youth minister’s back or undermine the leadership of the church.
  • …show up extremely late for an activity.
  • …call or text 15 minutes before an activity saying, “I forgot about the activity—my bad.”
  • …study only a couple of minutes for a class saying, “I will let the Spirit speak for me.”
  • …put inappropriate material on social media and expect to still volunteer.
  • …be alone with a teenager at all. Period.

What are some of the things you would add to this list?