youth worker, youth ministry, student ministry

5 Steps to Inspiring Your Team

By Doug Franklin October 4, 2012

People follow leaders who set an example.  People want to follow a leader who is authentic and who values them as much as the task at hand. Your adult volunteers and students are looking at you. They want to know are you a leader worth following. Let’s look at 5 steps to inspire followers.

1.  Be what you want others to become. 
The Indian civil rights leader Mohandas Gahndi once said, “We must become the change we want to see.”  Leaders demonstrate firsthand who their followers must be and what it is they must do.  They stand shoulder to shoulder with their people in doing the work.  You will never take people further than you yourself are willing to go.  Since we want people to become like Christ, they must see Christ in us.  As the Apostle Paul proclaimed, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

2. Depend on His strength, not human effort.
Leaders know that there is a limit to human strength, but God’s power is unlimited.  Christian leaders lead people to live lives that are impossible to live in our own strength and through our own effort.  Christians cannot live a supernatural life apart from supernatural power.  Leaders learn to depend on the power of the Holy Spirit to provide all the resources needed to accomplish God’s work.  Galatians 3:3 says, “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”

3. Leaders say what they mean and mean what they say. 
They know that communication must be clear, accurate and transformational.  Leaders speak in a way that inspires and motivates their followers.  But they avoid saying things that are untrue or unfeeling.  They follow the Apostle Paul’s counsel to “speak the truth in love.”

4. Leaders do what they say they will do. 
Leaders who fail to fulfill their promises soon find that no one is following them.  People are drawn to leaders who follow through on their promises.  Jesus told us, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’.”

5. Leaders admit their mistakes and seek forgiveness as necessary. 
There is something powerful about a leader who says, “I’m sorry.  I was wrong.  Please forgive me.”  It reminds everyone that the leader is human.  There is no such thing as a perfect leader.  Every leader will eventually disappoint you.  But a leader who demonstrates humility is a leader worth following.  James 4:6 reminds us, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More