So What Makes a Great Team?

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all others. We have different gifts according to the grace given us.”

Romans 12:4-6

A key element of a ‘team’ is that each member recognises his or her unique value and importance to the overall team. Paul uses the illustration of the body more than 30 times in his letters, and this analogy for the church can be applied to teams as well. Each person has a role to play according to the gifts they have been given. Not one gift is more important than the other, but instead, all gifts work together so the overall body (team) functions effectively. And importantly, the gifts committee members bring complement the abilities found on staff, in volunteer leaders and donors, bringing balance to the larger Young Life team.

Taking this basic principle from Paul, we have organised this book into sections that illustrate what makes a great team, each giving practical suggestions on how to be an effective committee.

Great Teams . . .

  1. Have a common purpose
  2. Have a clear vision, goals and action plan
  3. Have a structure with solid leadership
  4. Recruit and motivate the right people
  5. Use their time together effectively
  6. Appreciate and Celebrate
  7. Evaluate performance
  8. Have fun together!

To see more about each of these elements, go to the Committee Manual Course.

See why Susan & Jenna serve on their local Young Life committees.

Church Liaison Coordinator

Many areas are looking for additional ways to involve non-committee adults, and to develop stronger support from local church congregations. This role helps bring those two things together in a way that, when done effectively, can truly bless an area.

Job Description

The coordinator develops a network of friends of Young Life who are willing to go to their church once or twice a year with a request on behalf of Young Life.

Basic Strategies to Develop

  • Find out what churches are represented among the Young Life community. Places to look:
    • Committee members
    • Volunteer leaders
    • Staff members
    • The church-going parents of young people who Young Life has significantly impacted
  • Recruit these friends to undertake one or two annual tasks.
    • Request a meeting with the pastor or missions committee for the staff/committee representative to attend.
    • Request a Young Life announcement or presence at a missions Sunday or similar event.
  • Equip the team to make their asks.
  • Connect the staff (or trained volunteer/committee rep) with churches when a door opens.
  • Record what progress we make with each church annually.
  • Write yearly to churches to update them of Young Life work in their community, and to thank them for their support.


  • Can organize.
  • Communicates well with a group of people.
  • Is actively involved in their own church.

Time Requirement: 2 – 4 hours per month

Donor Care Specialist

The donor care specialist job is to ensure the area’s donors are cared for and thanked.

Specifically he or she:

  • Assists Young Life staff with formulizing strategy that is appropriate to say thank you and care for donors.
  • Communicates the vision and mission to donors and the community.
  • Serves as an ambassador to donors and to youth within the community.
  • Is attentive to donors’ spiritual needs.

Job Description

  • Call donors who have made donations to say thank you.
    • Seek help from other committee members, or friends of Young Life, during busier seasons.
  • Assist staff with writing thank you letters for monthly donations.
  • Work with the Area Manager to determine who will be the primary caller for specific donors. Get to know the donors assigned to you and “earn the right to be heard.”
  • Assist Area Manager with touch points throughout the year (suggestions):
    • Invitation to club (attend with them).
    • Phone call to give update on ministry.
    • Encourage them to pray for kids at camp.
    • Personal handwritten note.
    • Be creative!
    • Invite them to be an adult guest at camp.
  • Events – you are a host, a “greeter,” the face of Young Life.

Basic Strategies to Develop

  • A thank you calendar for the entire year.
  • A written process of what steps to take when the financial month closes to:
    • Identify lapsed donors and a strategy for communicating with them.
    • Know how each one will be thanked.
  • You should work closely with the Treasurer and TDS Chair to ensure tracking and giving reports for donors are created.
  • Have a plan to include staff, committee and kids in several thank yous throughout the year.
  • Record all communications with donors in eTapestry.


  • Take the online TDS Course.
  • Is organized.
  • Is proactive.
  • Possesses the gifts of exhortation and encouragement.

Time Requirement: Eight hours per month

Go to TDS Course

Events Coordinator

Young Life exists in an area because the community is willing to financially support the ministry.  It is an important to hold a major fundraising event each year in your local area. Major events serve to celebrate, inform, proclaim the Gospel, affirm, give thanks and raise financial support. Generally, the primary purpose for a major event is to raise funds. The major event should be an important part of the area’s overall Taking Donors Seriously (TDS) strategy.

In addition to a major fundraising event, additional events such as Bunnings BBQ’s and Work-for-Reward (camp fundraising with our teens) may also be placed into the Events Coordinators Role.  

Job Description

The events coordinator oversees the entire event by providing leadership and direction.  They will develop a sub-committee (which may or may not have members of the Area Committee) to ensure all aspects of the event are catered for.  Roles on the sub-committee could include:

  • prayer team
  • allocating & following up table hosts
  • finding corporate sponsors
  • food
  • decorations
  • registration

Depending on the event, additional roles may be added.

The Events Coordinator should work closely with the Alumni and Friends Coordinator, as they should have an up to date list of people willing to assist with major and other local area events.

Basic Strategies to Develop

Young Life has developed “The 10 Essentials” for planning and implementing a successful event. These 10 requirements are to:

  1. Determine the right type of event.
  2. Set date, time and place of event.
  3. Reserve event location.
  4. Delegate committee assignments.
  5. Recruit table hosts.
  6. Generate a guest list.
  7. Invite guests.
  8. Make table seating assignments.
  9. Plan program.
  10. Conduct event follow up.


  • Can organize.
  • Is comfortable with multi-tasking.
  • Can delegate and hold others accountable.
  • Possesses the gifts of hospitality and leadership.

Time Requirement: 4-16 hours per month, depending on the timing of your event

Go to Committee Resources to find Event Suggestions & Guides

Leader / Staff Care Coordinator

Being a Young Life staff person or a volunteer leader is a rewarding responsibility! However, building friendships with kids in order to earn the right to tell them about Jesus and helping them grow in their faith can be taxing. Therefore, staff and leaders need extra care and support. The local committee can have a major role in providing this care.

Job Description

The care coordinator is responsible for planning and organizing the care of the local staff and volunteer leaders. The coordinator may want to develop a subcommittee to assist in this effort. This planning should involve having the committee members care for the staff and volunteer leaders in a variety of ways: prayer, befriending, mentoring, spiritual support, office work and assisting with fundraising.

Reminder: The committee is primarily responsible for the care of the Area Manager and any other staff. The staff is primarily responsible for the care of the volunteer leaders. If the committee has the time and ability to take care of the staff person(s) and also help take care of the volunteer leaders that would be great.

Basic Strategies to Develop

Area-Wide Leader Care: The coordinator should plan and organize area-wide events to care for the staff and volunteer leaders. Possibilities might include a beginning-of-the-year welcome/appreciation picnic, a Christmas meal with a white elephant exchange and an end-of-year thank you dinner with an appreciation gift. Committee members should attend all of these activities.

Individual Leader Care: The area leader/staff care coordinator or a subcommittee member COLLECTS information from the area staff and volunteer leaders about their needs and DISTRIBUTES that information to a committee member. The person is responsible for communicating with the staff member or volunteer leader and providing personal support throughout the year. Periodically, the coordinator should monitor the committee members to ensure that each member is caring for his or her staff member or volunteer leader; and should liaise with the Area Manager regularly in regards to committee care.

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


  • Has good organizational skills.
  • Is creative.
  • Is proactive.
  • Possesses the gifts of exhortation and encouragement.

Time Requirement: 8 hours per month

Alumni and Friends Coordinator

In any given area there are numerous adults, young and old, who would be considered alumni and/or friends of Young Life. 

Recognizing this reality, we desire to be proactive in reaching out to these people. We desire to connect with these people, encourage them in their faith, and expose them to ways in which they can be involved in the local ministry.

Job Description

The coordinator will:

  • Take the lead in connecting with Young Life alumni and friends, ensuring that their details are provided to the Prayer Coordinator and that they are in eTapestry (the YLA Database) where appropriate.
  • Keep a local database of friends willing to assist with fundraising activities, assist at camps etc.
  • Work with the committee and area director to strategize about events and activities for alumni and friends.
  • Periodically communicate with alumni and friends by e-mail, phone and / or newsletters as appropriate.

Basic Strategies to Develop

The coordinator, working together with the Area Manager and Committee, should:

  • Develop a process to consistently review the Young Life Alumni and Friends database.
  • Create an on-going communication about the local ministry with all alumni and friends who live in or near the area.  This should be done in liaison with the Prayer Coordinator.
  • Develop a process done at least once a year to provide opportunities for alumni and friends to become involved in the local Young Life ministry as: volunteer leaders, committee members, prayer supporters, friends of Young Life and/or donors.
  • Communicate as needed with the Office of Alumni and Friends by posting alumni and friends events, sharing stories and receiving database assistance.


  • Has the gifts of leadership and administration.
  • Can develop a team of people to assist in alumni and friends communication and involvement.
  • Is passionate about involving alumni and friends in the local ministry.
  • Computer literate.

Time Requirement: 4 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.

Taking Donors Seriously (TDS) Chair

Without a doubt the secret to a successful Taking Donors Seriously (TDS) team is an effective TDS chairperson.  They are the driving force of the team’s ability to identify and build a relationship with the area’s top-tier donors. In addition, the TDS chair leads the development of the TDS strategy for the area. The TDS chair and the committee chair need to work together closely to coordinate support for the ministry.

Job Description

The TDS chair will:

  • Recruit a TDS team.
  • Arrange a local training session for the TDS team.
  • Work with the area director and the TDS team to establish the seven non-negotiables of TDS: financial prayer strategy, case statement, leadership team, Field Development Tool (PPL and Cash Flow) strategy and plan.
  • Attend annual regional TDS training sessions.
  • Work with the area director to recruit and select the next TDS chair.
  • Take the online TDS Course.

Basic Strategies to Develop

  • Organize and hold the TDS team accountable to complete all calls to prospective top-tier donors and current top-tier donors.
  • Ensure that the committee chair and the committee solicit funds from all other donors who pledge giving at an event.
  • Develop a system to manage and update the area’s Field Development Tool (PPL and Cash Flow).
  • Develop a process to manage and update the area strategy and plan.


  • Has the gift of leadership.
  • Is honest and trustworthy.
  • Is organized.
  • Is talented with finances, budgeting and/or accounting.
  • Can delegate and hold people accountable.

Time Requirement: 8 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.

Go to TDS Course

Prayer Coordinator

All activities of Young Life need to be underpinned by prayer. Our hope is that everyone on the committee will take time to regularly pray for the ministry. This can be greatly aided by a Prayer Coordinator.


Responsibilities of the Prayer Coordinator:

  • Walk faithfully with Christ
  • Be confident in their call to the role
  • Be committed to prayer
  • Has access to a computer with email
  • Keep in regular contact with the Area Manager to record the prayer needs relating to working with young people
  • Record the prayer needs of committee activities
  • Keep a regular database of prayer supporters on Mail Chimp & ensure that new donors are added to the Mail Chimp List
  • Send monthly / termly (as per area agreement) email prayer requests and praise reports via Mail Chimp

Basic Strategies to Develop

  • Area-Wide Prayer Strategy: Involve as many people as possible from inside and outside the area who will pray for the local Young Life ministry. Obtain general prayer requests from the area director on a monthly basis. It might also be helpful to list answered prayers as well as requests.
  • Develop an e-mail distribution list. Obtain names of people who are willing to pray for the ministry from the committee, donors, church prayer groups, volunteer leaders, staff, banquet list, senior citizens, etc.
  • Committee-Wide Prayer Strategy: The committee should pray as a group for the staff, volunteer leaders and donors and about key issues related to the ministry.
  • Develop an e-mail distribution list of committee members and staff. Check with the area manager and other staff for detailed requests for prayer.
  • Make prayer an important part of the committee meeting. Prayer could be held for an hour before the meeting. Members could meet weekly during lunch at a specific location for prayer.
  • Individual Prayer Strategy: Each committee member should be paired with a specific staff member or volunteer leader to pray specifically for them.
  • The committee member should solicit individual prayer requests from the staff member or volunteer leader.


  • Understands the power of prayer.
  • Has the gift of prayer.
  • Is able to elicit the needs and concerns of others.
  • Good listening skills.
  • Can organize.
  • Computer literate or able to recruit an individual to send out the prayer emails via Mail Chimp.


Time Requirement: 8 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.


Like the Chair, the Treasurer has certain responsibilities that require a unique set of experiences and gifts.

Responsibilities of the Treasurer:

  • Walk faithfully with Christ
  • Be confident in their call to the role
  • Have talents with finances, budgeting and/or accounting
  • Together with the Area Manager, assume administrative responsibility for funds involved in committee projects
  • Communicate with the Area Manager to ensure all Young Life Australia financial policies are followed.
  • Prepare and present financial reports received from the National Office at committee meetings
  • Sign off on local area expenses as per the Young Life financial policy
  • Review income and expenditures for the local area
  • Communicate the monthly financial report to the committee
  • Work in close contact with the Chief Financial Officer in National Office
  • Initiate and drive preparation of the annual budget

Basic Strategies to Develop

  • Understanding the impacts of reaching financial targets and how not doing so affects the area, region and national mission.
  • Keep the cash flow realistic with projects by communication with Area Manager and Committee Chair monthly.
  • Anticipate and communicate expenses and income before they occur.


  • Understands the needs for financial health in the area.
  • Maintains confidentiality.
  • Desires to work with numbers.
  • Is organized.
  • Is talented with finances, budgeting and/or accounting.
  • Committed to the position for a minimum of two years

Time Requirement: Eight 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.

Need to contact Accounts in the National Office?  E:

Go to Committee Resources to find Financial Policies & Forms

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.