Building Your Volunteer Team: A 30-Day Change Project for Youth Ministry, By Mark DeVries and Nate Stratman
Building Your Volunteer Team
  • Length: 155 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: December 03, 2014
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 4121
  • ISBN: 9780830841219

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Do you find yourself again and again wondering what it would take to get some new volunteers onboard for your ministry? And yet does it seem that you are never able to focus your energy on recruitment? Maybe you find yourself saying things like: "It?s just easier for me to do it myself."

At one level, of course, this is true. Almost always, it is easier to "do it ourselves." We avoid the hassle of having to coordinate and communicate. We avoid having to follow up with people who drop the ball.

Youth leaders Mark DeVries and Nate Stratman have heard dozens of reasons why leaders choose not to build a solid volunteer team. But faithful ministry is not a do-it-yourself project. It?s more than just recruiting—it involves changing the culture of your ministry so that volunteers want to become involved.That's why they have developed this 30-day change approach. In these pages you will find the step-by-step support you need to actually make one of the most important changes you want to see in your ministry.

DeVries and Stratman are so commited to the ideas that they offer the following guarantee:

If you work this 30-day process for one to two hours a day, six days a week, for 30 days, and it does not create significant change in your ministry, Ministry Architects will gladly refund the cost of this book and offer a credit of $20 toward any downloadable resource in their online store at

You have so little to risk and everything to gain. It's time to put together that team you've been longing for!

"This book is filled with wisdom and reminds youth workers, 'faithful ministry is almost never meant to be a do-it-yourself project. It's a do-it-together project.' It also offers practical, step-by-step instructions for building your volunteer team. . . . Because of how practical this book is, I wish I had had it my rookie year in youth ministry. I realized then how important adult leaders are to the success of ministry, but had no idea how to build a quality team. It's also the book I wish I'd had each time I started a new youth ministry position, once again finding myself having to build a team from scratch. Now, as a veteran youth worker with a fairly well-established volunteer team, it's the book I have and will continue to use to remind myself of the importance of strengthening my team—and actually do so. I encourage you to do the same."

Jen Bradbury, YouthWorker Journal, May/June 2015

"Many churches are struggling to either begin or keep youth ministries active in their communities. Mark DeVries, founder of Ministry Architects, and Nate Stratman, staff consultant for Ministry Architects, have developed an effective plan to help youth directors outline their goals and find the needed volunteers and project leaders, as well as establish a clear timetable to accomplish specific goals. . . . Recommended for Christian youth ministers."

Mary Lou Henneman, Congregational Libraries Today, November 19, 2015

"Building Your Volunteer Team is a practical 30 day project to help you build and maintain a volunteer team and culture in your ministry. It's a super helpful tool. If you lead a team of volunteers or wish you had a stronger team. This is (a) must read."

Micah, Brave Daily, October 24, 2015

"Building Your Volunteer Team can be used by any organization that desires to strengthen its volunteer database. DeVries and Stratman write: 'Faithful ministry is almost never meant to be a do-it-yourself project. It's a do-it-together project.' How true. This is a book worth adding to your collection."

Bobbie Bomar-Brown, Baptist Standard, March 16, 2015


Introduction: Why 30-Day Change?
Day 1: Launch Day
Day 2: Balcony Day
Day 3: Partners Versus Helpers
Day 4: The Trap of Terminal Vagueness
Day 5: Progress, Not Perfection
Day 6: Focusing on Next Year Before This Year
Day 7: Getting a Rhythm
Day 8: Reflection Day
Day 9: Balcony Day: Admitting the Existence of Normal
Day 10: What?s My Job?
Day 11: Ridiculous Lines from the Chronically Ineffective Leader: "It?s Easier Just to Do It Myself"
Day 12: Ridiculous Lines from the Chronically Ineffective Leader: "I Called, but They Haven?t Called Me Back Yet"
Day 13: Ridiculous Lines from the Chronically Ineffective Leader: "But I Don?t Know Anyone to Ask"
Day 14: Ridiculous Lines from the Chronically Ineffective Leader: "What Do I Say on the Fourth Message?"
Day 15: Reflection Day: Elisha?s Eyes
Day 16: Balcony Day: Procrastinate Now!
Day 17: Your Leader?s Calendar
Day 18: Preparing Your Leader Documents
Day 19: Structuring Your Team for Maximum Impact
Day 20: The Magic in the Middle
Day 21: Running Through the Wall
Day 22: Reflection Day
Day 23: Balcony Day
Day 24: A Matter of Time
Day 25: Volunteers with a Twist
Day 26: Architecting a New Culture
Day 27: Preparing for the Mess
Day 28: Telling a Better Story
Day 29: Reflection Day
Day 30: Final Balcony Day: Finished—Sort of

Appendix 1: Eight Sample Messages for Recruiting
Appendix 2: Sample Major Event Calendar
Appendix 3: Sample Helper Role Survey
Appendix 4: Master Summary Task List



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Mark DeVries

Mark DeVries is the founder of Ministry Architects and author of Sustainable Youth Ministry, Sustainable Children's Ministry (with Annette Safstrom), and Family-Based Youth Ministry. He served for twenty-eight years as associate pastor for youth and their families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville.

Nate Stratman (MDiv, Fuller Seminary) is a full time youth pastor, husband, dad, and consultant based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been in full-time youth ministry since 2000, starting with St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian in Wilmington, NC and now serving as Director of Family Ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs, CO. A staff consultant with Ministry Architects,Nate also started the Restoration Project through Youth Conference Ministries and co-dreamed an intentional community for ministry minded young adults called the Greenhouse. He loves partnering with Young Life and has a great interest in the relationships between churches and para-church ministries. He lives with his wife Kim and two daughters.