youth worker, youth leader, distorted leadership

Distorted Leadership

By Doug Franklin June 23, 2011

I have never met the perfect leader and I probably never will, because they don’t exist. Still, we have this expectation that the people who lead in churches need to be perfect. Of course we would never say this, but we still require it. Youth workers are seldom considered great leaders because of a lack of experience, education or maturity. They can be great teachers, friends and motivators, but leadership requires more; including life lessons and a good mentor. Don’t be fooled; leadership is more than students liking you or being able to speak from the front. Leadership is about service, building others, and creating programs that last for years, not just for the time you are there. We have distorted leadership into popularity. There are lots of reasons for this. Parents and senior pastors want youth workers who are liked by students. Happy students + happy parents = a happy church. The only problem is being happy seldom leads to a deep dependence on God.

The other day I drove by a church I served in 20 years ago. When I thought about the ministry I lead there I just laughed; I was an idiot. I had a distorted view of leadership, but the lessons I learned there still help me today. I just wish I knew I was learning at the time.

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