Leadership and Youth Ministry

I came across this article in the September/October 2008 issue of The Journal of Student Ministries…Chris Folmsbee has some great things to say.  It’s stuff we’ve heard before, nonetheless, he boils it down to the context of student ministry.

From Director to Influencer– It’s not about title or position but about how we motivate and move people.  This year God has mobilized a team that is doing incredible things in our junior high ministry.  I sit back and become amazed when I look at the impact they are making.  I also found that leaders respond better to the “team” mentality rather than “it’s my way or the highway.”  Title is important, but in the long run it’s really about relationships and the motivating we offer to those relationships.

From Singly Owned to Shared Vision– I’m not the most creative tool in the shed (I do have my moments) but to share vision helps create a holistic environment.  People bring a plethora of gifts to the table rather than leading from gifts alone; that would uber-stink!

From Singly Owned to Shared Leadership– I am not in control (as Folmsbee points out).  He states that I control chaos, which is really what it’s called in the context of junior high ministry.  The concept of control either motivates movement or stops it all together.  I need (we) to understand that if want forward movement we need to empower people to fly not walk around.  Don’t be afraid to let them do that…even if they fail.  At least you’ll never be accused of not allowing them to fly.

From Gatekeeper to Mission Focuser– It’s not the job the job of the youth pastor or whatever to single handedly promote a youth ministry, it’s everyone’s job! If you’re not excited about what you do, a couple things will happen:

  • The students will see it and become less excited about the vision.
  • The moral of team will go down.
  • You become confused.

We need as a team to focus on the mission at hand…leading students to Christ.  Anything else is a waste of time.

From Expert to Co-Laborer– It’s not about accolades.  Degrees, certificates, ect…they mean nothing!  God is not liminted to those who has a degree or a specific program.  He can use anyone and anything.  When we begin to judge and undermine the environment we work in…we create disunity.  We need to adopt the attitude of being a co-laborer, rather than an expert. Trust me, unless you’re 40, have kids, are married, teach at a university parent’s will not rip about the degree you hold and whether or not you are an expert on youth culture or not.  They will see a co-laborer.


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