youth ministry, youth worker

Leading A Grassroots Movement

By Doug Franklin June 6, 2012

As youth workers we are leading a grassroots movement. We are working with students who through their actions and conversations are working to attract other students to Christ. This is one on one work done in school hallways, fine arts performances and athletic fields. So are we acting like grassroots leaders or are we acting like organizational leaders? Most church leaders (not youth workers) act like they are leading an organization. Inviting people to come to them and listen to what they have to offer. Youth ministry can’t work this way, in fact it won’t work this way because students don’t feel any need to come hear what you have to say. Those days are gone. Leaders of grassroots movement think differently and act very differently than leaders of organizations.

Grassroots leaders:

1. Think differently
As the leaders of this movement we are going to have to think differently about student ministry. We are going to have to think out not in. We are going to have to meet students in their world and forget about them coming to ours. We are going to have to think small. Small groups won’t be 8-12 in the future they will be 1 adult with maybe three students. Because students won’t come to us the small group leader will have to spend more time going to where the students are, allowing them to work with smaller numbers.

2. Prepare differently
If we want to lead a grassroots movement we are going to need to prepare differently. We are going to have to spend time and resources training our students to lead the movement. Forget programs, videos and game nights. Our students will need to know how to build relationships, share their faith and how to stay strong in enemy territory.

3. Measure differently
We can’t measure the success of a youth ministry by who comes because we need to be going to them. We will have to come up with a new way of judging the effectiveness of a youth ministry.

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