“Shouldn’t we go this way?” shouted someone from the back. “No, I think it wants us to go right.” We were at a crossroads on the Appalachian Trail wondering which way would take us to our destination. No one was willing to step up and lead. It would take a half an hour before we made the right decision.
No matter the journey it’s important to have a leader. You want to make sure you are following someone who helps you achieve goals and move towards a vision. If you are that leader you want to make sure others know you are worth following.
In youth ministry you have to be that leader. If people do not trust you or second guess you then you will only find disaster. To be that person you need to avoid certain attitudes and pitfalls. That means never saying, thinking or acting like:
- It’s All About “ME”: Attention is addictive. When a leader becomes a celebrity the ministry can become focused on them. While the personality might bring people in, it can cause harm when the leader leaves or falls. To avoid being a self-centered leader it’s important to surround yourself with people who can hold you accountable. It’s also essential to seek humility by lifting up those around you.
- I’m The Boss: When you lose control it’s easy to utilize leverage in a negative way. A good leader never has to throw in the boss card. Respect and honor is earned, not demanded. To be a leader worth following you need to avoid undermining and micromanaging your team. Build trust and empower others.
- No Decision Is The Best Decision: An indecisive leader can be a dangerous leader. No one enjoys failure, but to avoid the risk is worse. To be a leader who makes bold decisions takes accountability and a timetable to make decisions. Lean in and if you fail make sure you learn.
- We’ve Arrived: A great leader is always dreaming big. You will reach goals; however, you need to constantly grow. A leader who thinks that they’ve arrived is one who has given up or is filled with pride. They ignore and avoid all the problems around them. Eventually it will catch up and eat away at their ministry. A “We’ve Arrived” mentality leads to irrelevance.
If you are that leader start looking to others to give you insight. Find people who will call you out on these attitudes and help you grow. Do not be a leader worth avoiding, be one people want to model.
What else should we avoid in leadership?