We know why we should have a committee, but who exactly should we seek out to help us? Who can help us the most? This week we explore…..
“Who serves on a youth committee?”
Ali Chappell is a second year seminary student at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary. She graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC and loves Texas, but loves North Carolina much more. Ali is currently on staff as Minister to Youth at Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, TX. She loves cheering on the Baylor Bears, Boston Red Sox, and Carolina Panthers while eating Mexican food and drinking diet coke.
A youth committee is a helpful yet semi-daunting resource that a necessity – no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. Sometimes these committees can seem more like a hassle than a fount of wisdom; but if you have the right balance of personality, smarts and character a youth committee can become a wonderful source of inspiration and imagination.
The 5 People You Need on Your Youth Committee
- An Active Parent
A committee of this caliber would be useless without the people with the most buy in in youth ministry: parents. Parents of students can either make your job miserable or make it a cakewalk, but if you have a very active parent on a committee like this, they will be able to back decisions made during committee meetings. They’ll also be able to provide a level of support that may permeate throughout the whole parent body.
Just as it’s important to have a parent member of a youth committee, it’s also imperative to have a student represented on the committee as well. Just as parents provide that parental perspective, youth provide a student perspective and may give you insight into how other students will react to programs or changes. The key to this member’s success and helpfulness is to make sure that they’re mature and able to handle the responsibility that comes with being on a committee. I’ve always used juniors or seniors to represent the student body.
- Someone with Money on the Mind
It goes without being said that the budget is crucial to any youth program. Have someone on your youth committee who has experience in business or finance! They will be able to open your eyes to many different ways that you can flip around a few line items and help you come up with a more appealing budget proposal. Someone with a background in business/finance will also be able to weigh in on fundraising ideas with a realistic estimate of profit.
- Creative Spirit
Any group of people with a common goal need a “dreamer.” A youth committee is no exception to this rule and it’s important to have a committee member who will throw out ideas no matter how crazy these ideas seem. While these wacky ideas may not actually be attainable – they may give insight into a different way of doing things or a way to tweak programming that has been the same for years. Having a creative spirit may seem like a waste of time sometimes, but what they contribute will be worth it in the end.
- Young Adult Volunteer
If you have young adult volunteers who are in college or seminary and that help out with the youth ministry, ask one of your best volunteers to be on the committee. Parents may not be present at all youth events so they may not have the most accurate understanding of exactly what’s going on in the youth ministry. Volunteers who are frequently at events will be able to support you when you bring something to the table that’s regarding a specific event or type of program. They will also have a better gauge of how the students responded to these events and therefore provides wonderful insight to a youth committee.
Now – it would be great if we could ask people to be on a committee and they would say yes immediately, but that is often not the case. People need to be encouraged to take part in a team of leaders such as a youth committee. This is especially difficult with parents of preteens or teenagers – Mom’s and Dad’s often feel like they cannot take on one more task or commitment. Do a double whammy and find a parent who has business experience or find a parent who may have the wackiest ideas and tell them why you want them on the committee. Use these ideas of who should be on a committee to seek out those with these spiritual gifts!
Gregory Harrell has served as minister to youth at Blacksburg Baptist in Blacksburg, VA, since 2009. Despite being directly across the street from Virginia Tech he still believes Maroon and Orange should never be worn together.
A youth committee is often only as effective as the people who are on it and the minister that is leading it. Some years I have amazing youth committee’s who make my job really super easy, have great ideas, and are challenging me to be a better youth minister. Other years I struggle to get people to show up and help pull off our big events. My best configurations of a youth committee include the following people:
- 3-4 Key Volunteers– I define a key volunteers as those people who always show up for youth events, call to ask if you need help, and not only offer ideas, but also want to make them happen. These are probably people who teach Sunday School, go on mission trips and camp, or lead small groups. I wish all my volunteers fit this title, but it is unfortunately just a small handful. Your Key volunteers make your job easier and knowing they are behind an idea makes it easier to pull off.
- 4-5 Parents– I try to get a variety of parents to serve on the youth committee. It is always easy to get the ones who are at church all the time and whose children you can count on to be at the event, but I want to hear from the ones who only come from time to time. They tend to have great ideas for how we can reach out to other students in our area. They are also not afraid to tell me that this is a lame idea. I need and want that.
- 4-6 Youth– I students from a variety of grades to serve on the youth committee, because I want them to have an invested part in our identity as a youth group. These are the leaders of our youth ministry and I really want the youth ministry to be a place that sends them out into the world using their gifts to further God’s kingdom. If they are excited and have contributed their ideas to our ministry they are more likely to be engaged in the ministry throughout the year.
Now, just because each of these groups are represented doesn’t mean that the youth committee will always be great, but it will ensure that I have a good key group who are invested. At this point it is really up to me to use them effectively and describing my failures and successes in doing that is a whole other blog post.