youth ministry, youth worker

Being Aware of Others

By Doug Franklin January 9, 2013

On the leadership journey, one of the last skills we work on is being aware of others. Their thoughts, schedule, fears and weaknesses. It’s so easy to get lost in our selfishness, thinking that we are the center of all things. Most of the people we are leading in youth ministry are making great sacrifices to serve in our ministries. They are taking personal time, time away from family to help us reach students. Have we really tried to understand them and discovery how they are feeling?

I am practicing being aware of others. I use the term practicing because it feels like I have to retrain myself in order to put others before me. It’s a mind game, being aware of others is easy once I put my mind to it, it’s just not my first or second thought. So to get my mind on others I am doing these activities during my devotion time.

1. Answering the question: What is their greatest need?
I like to spend some time thinking and praying about this question for the people I am leading. By answering this thought I am able to create a plan to serve them. When I see them that day I am already prepared to ask them about their lives.

2. I build a personality profile
I think most people fall into four personality styles; Doer, Thinker, Mover or Relator. These four personality styles tell you a lot about how people think and react to situations. By understanding a person’s personality style I can customize how I cast vision with them, how I share difficult decisions and how to motivate them. If you want to know more about this check out the LeaderTreks Leadership Type Assessment in the LeaderTreks store.

3. I pray for them
I believe this is my most powerful tool when it comes to retraining my mind to put others first. Praying for someone else conveys deep care and love. I like using my surroundings to remind me to pray, so when I walk by someone’s office I pray for them. When I drive by their house or school I spend a few moments putting away my thoughts and focussing on others.

4. Study their weakness
I study others’ weakness, so I won’t hold it against them. I can get frustrated with followers’ performance and usually it’s because I have asked them to do something outside of their strength. By knowing their weaknesses I can be aware of what will brings them life and fun!

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