I am at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Louisville this weekend. During the conference I have the role of room host. Which means I have a breakout room that I have been assigned and I “host” the speaker, the people, and everything that happens in that room for the entire conference. This also means that I do not have to choose what to attend and what not to attend, which is great for me since there are so many great options.
Today I had a pre-conference track in my room about building a strong ministry team. There was a ton of great content and the presenters did a great job. There was one statement made that has really made me think:
Too large of a team is almost worse than too small of a team.
I realize that too large of a team is not something that is a typical issue within most youth ministries. The most common is definitely too small. However, I can say there have been a few times within my last decade of leading a volunteer team that I did actually have too many people. Here are a few things I have thought about why this statement is true.
1. We all have a desire to be needed
If someone makes the effort and makes the sacrifice to attend an event they are expecting to be needed. If someone comes and they end up just standing around because everything is done by someone else they will most likely feel like they wasted their time. I hope no one ever feels like they have wasted their time by helping in youth ministry.
2. We aren’t sure what to do with too many people
I have become pretty good at adapting to having too few people; I just do it all myself. I realize that is unhealthy but I also think I am not the only one that defaults to that… When I am faced with actually having people to help I don’t always switch from my default, and still do it all myself. Even if I can hand some things off, the default phrase when someone else shows up is “just love on students.” The problem is that is actually a very vague statement, and people that hear that most likely will end up back at #1.
Just a few quick thoughts…more will come I am sure.