20 Types of Youth Ministry Volunteers

I’ve been involved in youth ministry in one form or another since I was in high school. One thing I love about being involved with youth group is the cast of characters that each ministry seems to have.

If I were to write a novel and wanted to include all of the types of youth workers I’ve worked with through the years, I would need to build the cast using these traits. (I’ve played one role or another at various times in my ministry career.)

  1. The sage – Life is a riddle, he has one for all of life’s problems.
  2. The sports guy – Give him a basketball and an hour and he’ll sweat some kids closer to Jesus.
  3. The buddy – Let’s just hang out and play Portal 2 this weekend, OK? Maybe we will talk about Jesus between rounds?
  4. The real man – All of the worlds problems will go away if men are men. Did you hear me son? What we need in this group is more men, real men!
  5. The Bible guy – I earned this Timothy award and I’m not afraid to use it.
  6. The hugger – Why talk when we can just hug? Everyone will feel more comfortable with more physical contact.
  7. The mom – A spoon full of sugar, honey, that’s what you need. And I’m kind of here to keep an eye on Jeffrey.
  8. The waiter – Hold onto your cup! If you put it down for even a second, it’s gone.
  9. The deer in the headlights – How did I get here? I’m in a room full of teenagers, oh my gosh. What’s going on?
  10. The camp guy – In 8th grade this guys life was transformed at snow camp and he is still looking to repeat that experience at 54.
  11. The whistle blower – Rules are important, I have a whistle, and I will blow it.
  12. The Christian ghetto guy – He has connections at every Christian owned business in town. Keep your bucks in the family, you dig?
  13. The clip board guy – If you aren’t careful this guy will sign up everyone for the military. How do we know Jesus fed 5,000? This guy counted.
  14. The evangelist – Every lesson better have a Gospel presentation, because if you were to die tonight…
  15. The bodyguard – If anyone tries to talk smack about this group, these kids, or our youth pastor, I promise you he will punch them right in the face.
  16. The band – Sure, the band might be one person, a guitar, and PowerPoint, but worship should be at the center of what we do, right?
  17. The historian – Do you remember when? No? This guy does.
  18. The elder – Sure, I’m here to volunteer. When I’m not making sure your teaching lines up with our doctrinal statement.
  19. The prayer warrior – A kid just broke his leg? Before we call 9-11, let’s gather in a circle and pray for Lydia… Mr. Myagi style.
  20. The youth-pastor-in-training – With aspirations of one day being in charge, this volunteer does it all and always feels like he is one step away.





14 responses to “20 Types of Youth Ministry Volunteers”

  1. Charlie Harper Avatar
    Charlie Harper

    Did you really forget “The Game Show Host”??

  2. jeff greathouse Avatar
    jeff greathouse

    thanks for the smile as I wait for the Direct TV guy

  3. Hipster Avatar

    The “older” guy or gal that tries to use this week’s newest teen buzz word every other sentence while rocking skinny jeans & fitted tee, and making forced illustration from glee, the hangover 2, and lady gaga songs

  4. Jason Roth Avatar

    “the spy” only there to find something they can nail you to the wall for no matter how insignificant it is then run and inform the powers that be

  5. jeremy zach Avatar

    This is a really funny and true post.
    I would like to add two more volunteer types:
    Mr. Shady- this guy is single and always around and no one knows why? This guy has a great heart but is still in denial he didn’t go to his high school prom.
    Mr. Energy- this guy loves leading games and drinks way too many energy drinks at winter and summer camp. When asked why he is so hyper…he loudly states: I drink the Jesus juice.

  6. Jeff Goins Avatar

    I love “type” lists – thanks for this, Adam!

  7. Rob Avatar

    THIS IS AWESOME! don’t forget about the middle aged male leader who doesn’t realize that taking pictures of all the kids was cool in the 80’s but now its just creepy!

  8. Russ Avatar

    The historian- reminds me of Chris Farley interviewing all those famous people. Ha

  9. John Denton Avatar

    The bodyguard! I need this person now. I’m thinking rexquando? Thanks for making my starbucks that much better this morning Adam!

  10. David Hanson Avatar

    This was fantastic. The hard part now is not going around putting signs on people at church just so they know who they are. Maybe name tags would work? Who knows…great post.

  11. Derick Avatar

    Isn’t the definition for “youth pastor in training” the same as the definition for “youth pastor”? 😀

  12. adam mclane Avatar

    @derick- We are all in training! At least that’s my excuse when a game goes bad.

  13. Adam Avatar

    Or…the Mr. or Mrs. I (won’t ) be there if you need me…they talk a good game, but when you are in the said “pickle” and need help…they are no where to be found or have a grand excuse.

  14. John Mulholland Avatar

    You forgot “the fundraiser”…you know, the one that comes up to you and says, “I have a fundraising idea” that involves 12 hours of prep time, 250 candlesticks, a business across town and oh, they have to work that night.

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