student ministry, youth worker, youth ministry

Blunder Based Leadership

By Doug Franklin February 28, 2013

The process of leadership development requires failure. You can’t grow as a leader until you’re ready to deal with failure. Students don’t understand the power of failure. In fact, I don’t think I have ever met a student who thinks that failure is good and can teach them something. Students live in a world where failure is not an option. Their parents work very hard to make sure students never come in contact with it. Teachers will penalize you for it and youth workers will discipline you if you do it. So why do we think students should understand the power of learning from their mistakes? Students seldom have mistakes and when they do they spend more time taking to make up excuses then they doing learning how to change their behavior. No wonder we have adolescents going into students’ 20’s.

I have noticed that Jesus never built a system to keep his disciples from failure. What is interesting is Jesus spent most of his time building a system of redemption that rescued people who were going through failure. I think it’s time we took another look at failure and what we are really teaching students about it. Our push for perfection is hurting students and our lack of focus on grace is giving them a reason to dislike faith in Christ. Personally, I am starting every leadership project with students by telling them let’s get out there and have a few good failures. So whenever a student experiences failure I can say, “awesome failure, give me a high 5!” I want to create an atmosphere where failure is just as important as success. if your youth ministry is free of failure then you will also be free of student leaders.

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