The Perfect New-Volunteer test

Yesterday was a busy day, and it's on days like that when the most random ideas strike me as excellent--

So there I was, sitting in Starbucks, and I had the idea for a very reliable volunteer interview scenario. Find a Starbucks near a middle school (within walking distance) and arrange to interview your new volunteer there on a Friday afternoon; in fact, plan to meet 20 minutes after the first wave of kids walks in, so you'll be standing in line with 30 or so teenagers who all want to talk about the amazing things that happened in school today.

You'll weed out all the adults who really don't have a clue about youth ministry, such as this mom who walked in with her younger daughter and nearly walked right back out again (the daughter found some friends before mom could steer her out the door), saying, "Not only is there a long line, but they're noisy!"


Anonymous said...

Seeing how potential youth volunteers react to an environment where youth gather is is an apt observation - the astounding thing is the idea that middle school kids would like anything as bitter-tasting as Starbucks. (Children ordinarily prefer sweet and salty flavors and are aversive to bitter tastes.) How did that ever come to be favorite spot for youth where you are?

Isaac, The Rookie said...

Most of them don't order coffee there; they'll pick up juices or Frappucinos and other ridiculously sweet stuff; I have one student who gets steamers-- steamed milk with flavor syrup, about as bad for you as you can get. They gather at the Sbux because it's convenient to school (about 3 blocks up the street, and lots of the neighborhoods they live in have entrances in those few blocks) and it's a "third place" (not home or school) to spend some time with friends that's safe, but not directly supervised.