youth worker, youth ministry, lead

Youth Ministry Leaders

By Doug Franklin January 3, 2012

For most of us in youth ministry the word “leader” is in our job
description. Yet are we leaders because our job description says so or
because we actually bring to life a God given vision? Most often
we wear the name tag “leader” but it doesn’t makes us one. We teach
students that positional leadership is ineffective but we count on
positional leadership to keep our role at church. So why don’t we
spend more time on developing our leadership? After all when they fire
you they will say it’s because you lacked the leadership needed for the
job. I believe there are a few reasons:

1. We don’t understand leadership
Too often we think it’s something you have or not have. This is not
true, leadership is just a set of principles that you apply to
situations you face. Leadership can be learned even if you are an
adult. Every personality can lead. The problem is we have given
leadership to the loudest not to the most effective. Read books, listen
to teachers and change your behaviors, these actions will all lead to
greater leadership.

2. We don’t know ourselves
We spend time trying to be like other leaders we like that we don’t
spend time getting to know ourselves. Knowing how you operate can grow
your leadership. Study yourself, get to know what you do really well
and do that. Find others to do the other stuff. By dong just that you
will grow your leadership.

3. We don’t like leaders
We think leaders keep score and we don’t add up. I meet lots of youth
workers who actually hate leadership. They have had bad experiences
with past leaders or they dislike it when they are asking to take more
responsibility, so they think leadership is to blame. It’s not, and
they need to grow up.

4. We don’t think ministry should have leaders.
We just want to love people and help them. Leadership is a waste of
time because it has nothing to do with helping people. College
students tell me this a lot. This would be true if Jesus asked us to
work alone but he didn’t; he asked us to serve him in community and
communities need leaders.

5. We are afraid
Leadership requires risk and some people don’t like risk. The sad part
is some of these people migrate to ministry. The only way this changes
in this world is when someone takes a risk and steps out. God made
this world and he made the rules of human nature. He knows and
understands risk. Christ’s life on earth was all about risk. If you
struggle with risk start small and work your way up to bigger risks
but start taking them.

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