Committee Chair

The Chairperson greatly influences the character and effectiveness of your committee.  Elected by other members, this person will have a unique partnership with the Area Manager built by spending regular time together. As the leader of the committee, the Chair keeps the focus on Christ, calls on members’ gifts and abilities, prepares and leads meetings and mobilises the different task committees.  They also ensure that the committee members share in the ownership of the ministry with the local staff, volunteer leaders, local donors and regional director.

Responsibilities of the Chair:

  • Walk faithfully with Christ to provide spiritual leadership for the committee
  • Be confident in their call to the role and be a leader and motivator
  • In agreement with Young Life Australia’s faith and conduct policies
  • Plan and run the monthly meeting
  • Lead in developing a vision for YL in the community
  • Act as a liaison and advocate between staff and committee
  • Build trust in the ministry
  • Provide leadership in the recruitment, selection, orientation, retention and retirement of committee members
  • Work with committee members to best utilise their talents
  • Maintain a close relationship with staff
  • Stand alongside the staff and bring the rest of the committee along.
  • Maintain close relationships with the staff so staff can communicate needs and problems, as well as successes.

Basic Strategies to Develop

The committee chair working together with the area director should:

  • Develop a good relationship with the area director.
  • Plan effective meetings.
  • Lead effective meetings.
  • Create ownership for the ministry with committee members.
  • Delegate work to committee members.
  • Hold committee members accountable.

At a minimum, the Committee Chair and Area Director should develop the following processes:

  • Recruiting and selecting a committee chair(s).
  • Recruiting, selecting, retaining and retiring committee members.
  • Taking care of staff and if possible volunteer leaders.
  • Implementing basic Taking Donors Seriously (TDS)

Hoyt Jackson has some great tips below for new Committee Chairs.  Have a look at what he has to say.


  • Has the gift of leadership.
  • Can motivate others.
  • Is organized.
  • Is able to plan and lead meetings.
  • Can delegate and hold people accountable.

Time Requirement: 16 hours per month

NOTE: Different areas will have different time requirements, and this should be used as a guide only.  Different times of year as well will have different time pressures.

Ensuring Adequate Financial Support

Guaranteeing the Local Budget

Whilst the committee plays many vital roles in supporting the local Young Life program, perhaps one of the most crucial responsibilities is to prepare a local budget and then create and implement a fundraising plan to guarantee that budget. This responsibility is carried out in partnership with local staff and support from the National Office:

  • Develop a vision statement for the Area
  • Establish an annual budget that supports the vision
  • Create and implement a Financial Master Plan that will help achieve the budget
  • Make your own personal financial commitment to support the Area

Each of this topics are covered in greater depth in the Taking Donors Seriously (TDS) Manual . Each Area has a copy of this manual and should work to implement a TDS plan for your local  program. However, we include some of the highlights in this manual.

To be effective in raising funds, it is important to consider a wide variety of activities available to you in a total fundraising mix. Many Areas find they are good at events, but rarely consider grant submissions, local newsletters or personal donor visits. Others might find it easy to approach churches for church partnerships and may even try their hand at a local appeal, but they lack events that attract potential new donors and they rarely contact the donors they do have.

Local Events (ideally, two per year) – this might include an event you host and then perhaps the sale of Krispy Kremes or other at a local event or festival.

Grant submissions – local, State or National (we will provide training and a toolkit to help you in this Area).

Church partnership opportunities – consider hosting lunches for pastors or inviting some pastors along to summer camp!

Local newsletters – Whilst the national office will send out four national newsletters a year on behalf of all Areas, you may consider sending one or two newsletters with a local focus. Include a give slip and a response envelope.

Local Appeals – The National Office also puts together and distributes four all-area appeals per year, with all money going back to the local Area it’s received from. You may also want to consider sending out a local appeal for a specific purpose. Please consult the National Office for assistance and to ensure that your mail out or electronic direct marketing does not clash with
the National Office communications calendar.

Taking Donors Seriously – keep in regular contact! Have a list of all donors and consider how you will keep in touch with them. Who needs a handwritten note just to say thanks? Who needs a phone call? Who should you visit? At the very least, we recommend an annual visit to monthly donors just to say thanks and share your local Vision Statement so they can see where you are
headed. Frequency will vary from Area to Area and depend very much on the donor, but we encourage all committees to carefully examine their current donor list and discuss, as a group, a plan for making personal contact with all donors over the course of the year.

We would like to challenge all Areas to implement a healthy balance of the fundraising mix in their Financial Master Plan. We have provided a template in the TDS Manual that allows you to consider how each of these activities might fit into your annual plan.

Like the Vision Statement, the National Office will work with each Area to develop a Financial Master Plan that challenges you to incorporate every aspect of the fundraising mix. This will possibly be a challenge for some Areas, but we believe it will have a dramatic impact on your fundraising for the year.

A member of the National or Regional Staff will also visit your Area at least three times a year to monitor your progress on your activity plan and to lend assistance with any changes that should be made. They will also be happy to join you for meetings, events or presentations where you feel a National Office presence would be beneficial.

The National Office will endeavour to equip you in running a thriving committee and in achieving fundraising success. Our services include annual training summits (with outside expertise on relevant topics); tools and templates for grants and presentations; updated Young Life materials; hosting of the Adult Guest program at summer camp; templates and assistance in developing Vision Statements; budgets and Financial Master Plans; assistance and input on local events; input and editing of all local appeals, newsletters, press releases, grant submissions etc; and a national Communications and Events Calendar to help you consider your own local communication plan along with regular visits to your Area. Most importantly, we are always available to chat, brainstorm or offer advice. Just give us a call; we’d love to hear from you!

Campership Coordinator

Jim Rayburn, founder of Young Life, understood the power of camping. When kids are at camp, the Gospel can more effectively be communicated to them because they are having fun with friends and Young Life leaders and are away from the pressures of everyday life. 

Job Description

Working with the Area Manager, the campership coordinator will:

  • Keep the committee informed about the needs of the campership program.
  • Raise funds to help send more young people to camp.
  • Work with the Church Liaison Coordinator for opportunities to speak in local churches about the need for camp sponsorship in the lead up to camps.
  • Be available to assist with (and coordinate a team of volunteers to help with) the paperwork that must be done before young people go to camp.
  • Work with the prayer coordinator to develop strategies: to pray for young people to sign up for camp, to pray for the campers and leaders during the week of camp and to pray for all the campers after they return home.
  • Work with the leader/staff care coordinator to ensure care packages are given to leaders prior to boarding the bus for camp.
  • Ensure that donors are thanked for camp sponsorships in liaison with the donor care specialist.

Basic Strategies to Develop

  • Create a subcommittee to assist with raising funds and other support activities.


  • Understands the huge impact a camp experience can have on a young person’s life.
  • Enjoys fundraising.
  • Is an encourager.
  • Has good organizational skills.
  • Possesses the gift of helping.

Time Requirement: 8-12 hours per month during the sign-up and camping season

Communications Coordinator

The members of the local community should be aware of and informed about the ministry of Young Life. By utilizing the local media, Young Life’s mission can be more fully communicated to the general public. Hopefully, by having a clear understanding of the ministry and its activities, Young Life will be more positively received by the local community.

Job Description

The coordinator will work closely with the area director to ensure that all significant Young Life activities and events are publicized in a timely manner. The coordinator will:

  • Ensure that events are publicized in area newspapers, print and radio (as appropriate).
  • Ensure that the Young Life area is represented at community events.
  • Ensure that activities (eg. clubs, new programs) are publicized.
  • Work with the Prayer Coordinator to maintain secular database on Mail Chimp and communicate regularly with them.
  • Liaison with Young Life Australia’s Communications Department as required.


  • Experienced in journalism.
  • Has good verbal and written skills.
  • Is creative.
  • Has good organizational skills.
  • Able to set priorities and timetables.

Time Requirement: 2 hours per month

Committee Roles

Each committee is made up of five to seven individuals all working together to support the local ministry.  Committees may choose how they are organised and what roles they offer, but at a minimum, we suggest a Chairperson, Treasurer and Prayer Coordinator.

Beyond that, we encourage committees to consider the primary activities it will be undertaking over the year and appointing people appropriate for those activities.  It is important that committee members feel they have a specific role that is suited to their gifts and have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

Additional Roles might include:

  • Events
  • Church Partnerships
  • Secretary
  • Public/Community Relations (media, marketing)
  • Fundraising and Donor Relations (TDS)
  • Grant Writer

Regardless of the role, there are a few commonalities across all committee members in terms of characteristics and responsibilities.


  • Walking faithfully with Christ
  • Confident of their call to the role
  • Interested in young people and the Young Life ministry
  • Willing to share time, talents and resources
  • Involved in their local church


  • Attend monthly committee meetings
  • Support local staff and volunteer leaders
  • Take a leadership role in committee activities (events, fundraising, prayer, church partnerships, etc)
  • Provide input in the local Vision Statement and Financial Master Plan
  • Financially support the ministry
  • Pray for the ministry
  • Attend one Young Life activity per year (club, camp or special school activity)
  • Make a 2-3 year commitment

Hoyt Jackson explains below the purpose of committee.  

Hoyt Jackson has some great tips below for caring for Young Life Staff.  Have a listen to what he has to say.

We would like to thank Young Life USA for the use of their committee roles documents. 

The roles listed in the topics below have been taken from Young Life USA resources, used with permission.  

Committee Manual

Welcome to Young Life, one of the most dynamic and innovative ministries reaching un-churched young people in Australia today.

Young Life believes that every young person should have the opportunity to hear the message of Jesus Christ from someone they know and trust.  Our approach is designed to ‘connect’ with young people, building long-term relationships based on trust and respect.  Throw in elements of fun, laughter, adrenaline-filled challenges and inspiring speakers – and you have the Young Life mix – one that has been changing millions of lives for over 60 years.


Accomplished By:

  • Praying for young people
  • Going to where young people are
  • Building relationships with them
  • Winning the right to be heard
  • Providing experiences that are fun, adventurous and life-changing
  • Sharing our lives
  • Sharing Jesus
  • Loving them regardless of their response
  • Discipleship
  • Helping young people develop their skills, assets and attitudes to reach their God-given potential
  • Encouraging young people to be connected and engaged in a local church
  • Working with a team of like-minded individuals – volunteer leaders, committee members, donors and staff

Thank you for your service to Young Life through your local committee.  Throughout the Bible, we see God assembling teams of servants to work out His salvation purposes. He sent 70 elders to Moses to ‘help carry the burden of the people’ so Moses ‘would not have to carry it alone’ (Numbers 11:17). The early church, as it struggled to serve growing numbers of disciples, commissioned men ‘full of the Spirit and wisdom’ (Acts 6:3) so that the Word of God could be shared with a waiting world. 

For Young Life, the waiting world is every young person, everywhere. And we can’t enter their world without adult committee members like you. Thank you!

Committee Kit

Dear Friends,

Young Life volunteers are our greatest assets.  I don’t just mean our volunteer leaders.  We are an organisation that relies on volunteers at every level – in the schools, in our offices, at national and regional camps . . . and in our local communities.

Local volunteer committees made their early formal beginnings in 2000.  Since that time, we have attempted to sink more time and resources into supporting these committees through handbooks, training summits, visits from National Office staff and appointing a Committee Liaison person.

As we continue to grow, it is clear that we need to continue to invest in our local committees.  This Committee Resource kit is a resource that aims to assist with this.  As we’ve worked to provide increased training for our committees, it became clear that we needed to come up with a resource that could be utilised by Regional Directors and Area Managers, in partnership with their local committees.

When this kit was initially released in 2009, we polled former and existing committee from all Areas to help us determine key topic areas that were relevant to all committees from start up to veteran stages.  The kit is a living document that is intended to be revised and added to over time.  We welcome input and suggestions from you, our valued volunteers, if you have ideas to add to the committee kit.

We hope you will find this is a valuable resource as you serve in your local Young Life ministry.

Kind Regards,

Glyn Henman
Chief Executive Officer
Young Life Australia

Building the Committee Team

This section shares a couple of articles to help you think about building your committee.

Click on Brian Summerall’s picture below to be taken to a short video on Mission Maintenance, or Monument.  It’s a great thought to reflect on as you think about continuing serving on the Committee, as well as bringing new people onto the team with you.

The Financial Master Plan

The Financial Master Plan (FMP) is simply a calendar that identifies when each aspect of the Strategy will take place during the year.

We have set out an example below.

Please note – this is an example only; the plan will vary for each Area. With all the activity, it is easy to see why it is critical that a TDS team is in place. It is too much work for just one person. But split between a committed team of four, including the Area Manager, it can be quite achievable.

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Download a Blank Calendar


Monthly thank you activity: One region in the United States issued a challenge to all committees to consider incorporating monthly thank activities in their Financial Master Plan. The challenge was met with great success. Those areas who implemented such a program found phone calls and personal meeting invitations much easier to make. People were more willing to talk or meet and as a result, overall fundraising increased. It may be a lot of work, but please consider how your Area might do something similar.

We encourage all areas to do their own newsletters. But they are also a big commitment. Given that national also produces one four times per year, you can probably get away with just 2 per year, coupled with regular (monthly or quarterly) prayer emails. This keeps everyone informed on local ministry activities. If you choose to do more, be consistent!