I’ve served in the student ministry world for over 20 years, and one thing I learned early on is that I cannot do it alone. And because recruiting and leading teams are an ongoing tasks within ministry, it’s so important that we do them well. But for many, this does not come naturally. Thankfully, Nick Blevins has created a tool to help: The Volunteer Playbook.

Over the years, teams became one of my passions. But when you first step into a ministry, this can be especially overwhelming. How are we supposed to form a team? How do we train them? How do we continue to grow the team over time? How do we build a foundation for our team based on the vision and mission God has given us? How do we structure the team, equip them, and empower them?

Nick took some notes from football and structured his book in five parts:

  1. Start recruiting weekly
  2. Build the foundation
  3. Structure for growth
  4. Empower volunteers
  5. Boost recruitment

While there is a lot of great content, I really enjoyed Nick’s five-part volunteer framework, where he provides leaders a step-by-step process to forming an ongoing recruitment plan. He also identifies four basic elements to build a strong foundation in your ministry team, provides a great suggestion on how to structure your team for multiplied impact, and focuses heavily on how to involve teenagers in your volunteer teams.

I think another reason I like this book so much, because it is not filled unproven concepts. Instead, it is based on years and years of learning. Over time, Nick developed this strategy from his own experiences, and he knows it can work.

I also love how he included very practical steps, additional resources, and game-changing strategies throughout the book. A lot of times I will read something filled with theory and opinions, but I’m still left wondering what the author suggests I do with all of it. This is not that type of book, as Nick provides questions to consider and ways to put it into practice.

If a ministry leader dedicated some time to read through this book, contextualize it, and put it into practice, I strongly believe they could have an amazing volunteer ministry that will do far more than any one person could do on their own.

If you want to learn more about Nick and his book, check out episode 104 my podcast, Student Ministry Connection. And if you want to purchase Nick’s book, click the link below. I’m also giving away some copies on my podcast (enter before May 2, 2023).

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