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Youth ministry as a profession is not for everyone, and is not for everyone for all time. Many youth leaders, especially those who are in the role of assistant find themselves there for only a period of time.

Often the role of a youth ministry assistant is filled by someone going through college to pursue another career field, but being a ministry assistant is a great summer job or year round job.

But what happens when it is time to move on? How can you leave the ministry well? And in some cases, how can you move from the role of paid worker, to volunteer?

Here are three things to consider…

  1. Give Credit Where it is Due

One thing you have to do is to realize that you are no longer the go to person anymore. This means you do not have all the answers, someone else does.

One of the best things you can do is to point to whoever is new in the role. When someone asks a question, even if you know the answer, direct the question to the new person.

2. Step Away for a Time

As you move from paid worker to volunteer, one thing to consider would be stepping away for a period of time. Maybe take a summer off, or a semester. This will do two things.

First it will give students a chance to connect with the new person who fills that role.

Second it allows you time to separate your role as paid leader, to volunteer. You may need that time to evaluate where your passions and desires to help lead as a volunteer are.

3. Be an Awesome Resource

Let the new person in the role know that you will not try to do their job. However also let them know that you are there for anything they need.

While you are no longer the paid worker, you may have knowledge about how things were in the past. You may know the history of the program, the students, parents and church. You can give background and perspective to the new leader so they can make the best decisions.

For more on this go check out the Student Ministry Conversations podcast episode 13 where Brent Aiken interviews one of his previous assistants Bayli Avery. Bayli shares much more about leaving a ministry, and staying on as a volunteer.

You can also check out previous episodes like

The Future of Youth Ministry with Brock Morgan

Storytelling in Youth Ministry with Jonathan Germany

Student Ministry Leadership Teams with Daniel Acton

Find the Student Ministry Conversations Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google PodcastsSpotify, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and wherever you listen.

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