Strong leaders…Strong youth group

Well, it was Superbowl weekend… I’m sure you were transfixed to the tube on Sunday as the two teams battled it out. That is, unless you do not care about football U.S.A. style or, your Arizona Cardinals suffered such a heartbreaking loss a few years back that you couldn’t bring yourself to watch it yet…

One thing that is obvious to even the most casual NFL fan is that a good quarterback makes the team. Good QB, good team. Lousy QB, you probably will end up with a losing record and will try to draft a good one out of college.

In youth ministry you stand or fall with your leadership team. With a good team you have a much better shot at building a solid, strong  (and probably a growing) youth ministry.

So, the question begs, “How do we develop a good leadership team?” Let’s go through some big picture thoughts…and I hope to narrow it down for you in some future posts.

Leadership Development Big Picture Thought #1: Make it your goal from day one

This is not something that you stumble upon or decided to do in the future. It must start from day one. Now, this does not mean that you will have a strong team from day one, it simply means that you will begin to plan to build a team from the outset of your ministry.

What this means for you practically:

You will keep a sharp eye out for any godly, strong, able and time rich: adults…university students…young workers (who didn’t go to university)…grade 11 or twelve youth…retired people who are ministry minded.

Your goal is to not have a rotating set of volunteers who merely cook or provide transportation (although there is a place for this type of volunteer). You want Christian disciplers and role models.

Leadership Development Big Picture Thought #2: They must be on the same page as yourself

If you are a quarterback who wants to run the West Coast Offense (if you follow me…if not, just act like you understand) you need teammates who understand what you are trying to do and will support you. If you have teammates who do not support you… you will lose. It is very difficult to work with a team who does not want to follow you. 

What this means for you practically:

You will seek to develop a base of volunteers leaders who understand what you are trying to do and will be skilled in supporting and carrying out your vision. This means you may need to be patient and work to build this team. It may take a year or three.

One thing to note:

While what I have just written is really pretty straightforward, it is very difficult to do. It takes time, prayer, training, and lots of Bible study with your future leaders.

So, with this in mind, begin now. Find a group of people (youth?) that you think can help you out in a year or two and begin a small group Bible study. Or, join a young adults group that you think has some potential youth leaders. You could even join or lead a home group of adults. Get to know them, if you are the leader, teach the Bible to this group. I would suggest you take the group through Paul’s letters where the gospel is clearly explained and how we are to live in light of it. Discover together what it means to be a disciple and to carry the cross as you do a study from the Gospel of Luke. Take a few months and go through 2 Timothy together to discover what it means to be a leader.

As you do this, you will fire up some people to help you take your first steps towards a strong youth ministry.

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