4 ways to utilize leaders in virtual ministry

Jen Bradbury
Jan 29 · 5 min read

Recently, I’ve seen an increasing number of posts in various children and youth pastor’s forums about how to rebuild an adult leadership team that’s been decimated by the pandemic. It seems that as many people switched to virtual ministry, their ministries became (sometimes intentionally so and sometimes not) dependent only on them. Now, with the vaccine on the horizon, people are beginning to dream of post-pandemic life. Many have found themselves panicked over the thought of having to restart in-person ministry with essentially no leaders.

In so many ways, I get it. Sometimes, it’s far easier to do ministry alone than it is to enlist other adult leaders. But it’s also unhealthy.

So, if this is where you find yourself, it’s time to begin thinking about post-pandemic leadership NOW, even if you’re still meeting virtually.

With that in mind, here are 4 ways that you can and should utilize leaders in virtual ministry.

1. If you’re recording virtual messages for children or youth ministry, share the wealth! Instead of feeling the pressure to record every message yourself, enlist people you’d like on your leadership team and ask them to help record virtual messages – either by teaching themselves or by handling your tech.

2. Recruit leaders to create and deliver supply bags. Many ministries are utilizing supply bags or kits right now. Don’t put these together yourself. Instead, ask people to do this for you. Ship supplies directly to their home via Amazon and give them a list of what needs to go where. Establish another group of volunteers to actual deliver the supply bags or kits for you.

3. Utilize small groups whenever you have the chance. All of my ministries meet virtually on Zoom. As part of our gatherings, we utilize small groups EVERY SINGLE week, with every single age group, starting at Age 4 all the way through 12th grade. In some ways, Zoom’s breakout room feature makes it even easier to do small groups than in real life. Utilizing small groups every week ensures that my adult leaders are still getting face time with kids and (hopefully) forming relationships with them that will carry over to in-person gatherings as soon as we’re able.

4. Enlist adults to do contact work. Gather a team of people and ask them to follow up with kids and their families – either via text, email, phone calls, or snail mail. Give them a concrete mission, for example – Connect with 10 families in the next 10 days.

There’s no hard and fast rules about how to utilize adult leaders during this moment in time. That’s both a blessing and a curse… You’ve got no roadmap, but you’ve also got no expectations. So create them.

Every time you go to do something yourself, ask yourself: Is this something only I can do? If the answer is no, then ask someone else to do it. As you do this, look outside your usual suspects, especially if your team has already been decimated. Seize this opportunity to start fresh and build the team you've always wanted…. Not just someday, but now.