Volunteer Leader Overview

If you are a graduating senior interested in the First-Time Leader program, please click here for more information and to apply.


Mission Statement

The mission of FOCUS is to present Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, to independent school students to the end that they might come to know Him and glorify God through their Christian witness and through lives of Christian service in the Church and in the world.

We are looking for volunteer leaders to partner with us in this mission as we serve students in our Local Areas and at National Programs. We believe that relationships are critical to effective ministry, particularly those between adult leaders and students. When done well, such relationships have the potential to demonstrate God’s love for students and personify the message of the Gospel. With so many students involved, we are in need of more volunteers to take on this important charge!

Each of FOCUS’ eleven areas depends on volunteers who work with students weekly at meetings and events during the school year. Volunteers help at weekly meetings by running games and teaching Bible lessons, supporting students at sporting events, and meeting with students for coffee or a meal. The relationships formed with students provide an opportunity for conversations about faith and provide a personal connection and support for students.

National Programs are a key component to our mission. The time for students to get away from their routine and spend several days considering the Christian faith and applying it can make a lasting difference in their lives. Therefore, we strive for excellent and effective planning, administration, and leadership of our programs. Every student should not only have fun, experience well-run activities, and build peer relationships, but also be taught effectively from the Bible and be cared for and served by members of the leadership team.

In order to serve students well locally and nationally, we rely on volunteer leaders to work alongside our staff. We cannot function without committed and capable volunteers!

We encourage you to apply if you:

  • Understand and believe the Christian message and want others to hear, understand, and believe it.
  • Are seeking to know God in your personal life and participate in church.  
  • Enjoy spending time with middle and high school students.
  • Like to be active/sporty, can have wholesome fun, and/or have other gifts to offer.
  • Are willing to sacrifice sleep and comfort to serve students.

We trust that God will use the application process to show our staff and our applicants if the role of volunteer leader is a good fit.

Our commitment to our leaders

Volunteer leaders are crucial to our ministry, and we hope to equip you to lead in a healthy way. We hope that if you make a commitment to serve with FOCUS, you will experience a deepening of your own faith, encouraging relationships, and a supportive community. In light of that, if you are invited to join the leadership team, FOCUS commits to:

1. Encourage you to love and trust God more as you serve Him not only at FOCUS, but also in your school and church.
2. Pray with and for you.
3. Provide community and fellowship for you among the leadership team, including supportive relationships with FOCUS staff.
4. Teach you faithfully from the Bible.
5. Equip you to explain the Gospel clearly.
6. Equip you to lead Bible Studies and/or for other teaching responsibilities that you may be given.
7. Train and support you to effectively serve in practical ways.
8. Challenge you to grow in godliness and personal maturity.
9. Encourage you to give your future to whole-hearted service for God’s Kingdom whether in or around FOCUS’ mission to independent schools or elsewhere.


Leader Expectations

Volunteers are expected to serve in many ways depending on their age, experience, and gifts. Previous experience is not required. Younger and new leaders are often asked to participate in additional training and instruction in order to be equipped to lead well.

Area volunteers are trained by our staff and are an invaluable part of our community. Depending on experience in ministry and the set up of the area or school meeting, volunteers may help with running games, leading music, teaching a Bible study, or running a breakfast meeting. There may also be opportunities to participate in weekend retreats during the school year. For more information about what volunteering would look like in your local area, please contact your local Area Director.

At National Programs, most leaders participate in small group Bible studies and cabin meetings. Depending on experience in ministry, volunteers may be responsible for leading these groups and/or be given other teaching responsibilities. All leaders are given some practical ways to serve (such as setting out and cleaning up snacks) during the program, and all are encouraged to build friendships with students. FOCUS National Programs have a strong sense of community between leaders and students. Leaders participate in group games and most of the activities of the program alongside students.

As a volunteer leader, we ask you to commit to:

  • Pursuing an active personal faith in Christ both individually and in fellowship with others, including participation in a local church.
  • Displaying attitudes and developing habits in keeping with someone serving in ministry (see Ephesians 5:1-4, Titus 1:7-9).
  • Knowing that you serve as a role-model for students, seeking to make choices and pursue an ongoing lifestyle that is godly and “above reproach.” This includes your online persona and social media profiles.
  • Fostering unity by enthusiastically participating in all aspects of the meeting or program, displaying a humble, teachable, and supportive attitude, and encouraging others as we serve together.
  • Affirming the FOCUS Statement of Faith, Leader Expectations, and Modesty Statement.

If you become a FOCUS volunteer leader, you will represent FOCUS to students and their parents through your ongoing relationships with students. 

Application Process

All volunteer leaders are required to complete the following items as part of the application process:

  • Volunteer Leader Application
  • FOCUS Background Check
  • FOCUS Child Safety Training
  • FOCUS Waiver

Upon submission of all required items, your volunteer application will be reviewed by the appropriate Area Director or Program Director. He or she may follow up directly with your or your references as needed.

Please note that submission of an application does not automatically mean that you will be accepted as a leader. Invitation to join the leadership team is at the discretion of the Area Director, Program Director, and/or Director of National Programs. Please do not make travel plans to a National Program until you have been accepted as a volunteer leader.

Complete the Leader Application                       〉