youth worker, student ministry, youth ministry

Adults Want Students To Become Leaders … But They Don’t Want It For Themselves?

By Doug Franklin August 14, 2013

Most parents want their kids to be leaders. Even the adults that volunteer in the youth ministry think it’s a good idea to have the students lead. So why are they so few adult leaders in our churches? If leadership is such a great idea why don’t we have more adults working towards leadership? Tell me who is the last adult person you know who went from non-leader to leader in your church?

Senior pastors keep telling me they can’t find enough adults leaders to guide their churches. I have come to believe we have a huge value for leaders in our culture, we just don’t want to pay the cost to be one or we don’t believe we can be one.

Students are watching. When they don’t see adults working towards growing as leaders they ask themselves, “why should I?”

Here are my thoughts on why adults don’t want to be leaders:

1. Adults don’t like to think they need to grow or change
To develop as a leader you have to being willing to take a long look at yourself and make changes. You also have to challenge yourself to growth. Many adults feel like they did this and are finished with the process, mostly due to their age. It’s beneath them to still be growing after all they arrived when they turned 25.

2. Leadership is like golf
The thing about golf is you always can improve, because you never reach perfection. Which, if you think about it, is a lot like leadership. Adults are turned off by the idea that you can’t focus on leadership for a year or two and then “Be A Leader.” Leadership is a long-term process and most people don’t have the energy.

3. Leadership costs too much
We live in a church culture which rewards people for playing it safe. So if you want to lead others and take risks you need a bullet proof vest because people are going to take shots at you.  We don’t like change; we like the way we have always done it. There is peace and safety in doing it the same way all the time. Who cares if it’s effective or reaches our goals?

Solutions ….. coming tomorrow

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