Let me start by saying leaders are perhaps one of the most important parts of student ministry. Period. Sunday night, we got our small group leaders together for the first time before the school year hits. I love the times I get with small group leaders because they are literally the lifeblood of our ministry, and every time I am with them I am reminded just how blessed I am to partner with them on our team. They are a very sweet team.
The first thing we did was talk about this year’s schedule and our points of emphasis for the year. This year, I made it my mission to get our leaders dates for the entire year that they can put on their calendar. I wanted them to have a pretty solid picture of what the year was going to look like and where we were going as a ministry.
One of our leaders even commented afterward expressing how impressed/thankful for that information he was. It reminded me that you can’t expect people to go with you where you are leading them if you don’t give them a map to follow you. These are adults. They have developed brains and have made a decision to follow me as their leader. Providing leaders with a road map for the year minimizes the burden of the unknown and enable them to invest more fully.
The other portion of our meeting was spent processing a video from Download Youth Ministry and Josh Griffin talking about what never changes in Youth Ministry. It is an excellent video that sets up our leaders to remember what makes them influential in the lives of our students. It debunks the “cool” factor that we often attribute to youth workers and refocuses us on the task at hand: Allowing our stories to be used to influence the lives of students.
I found this conversation with my leaders to be quite the reminder. Until we take the time and ask a few questions about our past, we rarely reflect and leverage our past for the benefit of our future or someone else’s future. As I listened to the things that had influenced my leaders in their high school days, I got a real sense of how their story is exactly what brought them into that room; their story is exactly what fuels them to minister to students and walk with the next generation week in and week out. When we free leaders to reflect on their stories they are freed to leverage them for the benefit of their students.
I can’t wait to get this year going. It is going to be a great year, but it isn’t going to be great because of punctual planning or strategically placed small group leaders. It is going to be great because some awesome leaders have surrendered their lives to Jesus and are allowing their stories to be leveraged for the benefit of our students.
I’m so pumped for this year.