Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No More Lay Staff

During a leader's meeting in summer camp a few weeks ago, someone thanked God for the "lay volunteers" who were helping out with camp. My youth staff were mildly offended, mostly because the term "lay" has to do with being uneducated or without expert knowledge. It's somewhat demeaning to identify someone by what they don't know.

We've been very intentional about the language we use when referring to the people serving in student ministry. We use the terms "youth staff" or "ministry team." I truly view the staff as the youth pastors to the students they disciple.

I'm interested in people who want to come serve alongside me, not beneath me. We all have the same Holy Spirit, we all follow the same Jesus, we all bring different strengths and gifts into the mix. Jesus' leadership model was one of servanthood and humility. Let's put the "lay" language to a rest.


  1. I make sure to refer to my middle school staff as "underlings."

  2. Andy, "henchmen" or "cronies" are equally useful. Or "nincompoops." :)

    How are you doing up in Oregon? Read any good books or listened to any great music lately?