My confidence was shot. My first run, after passing out in the marathon, was a scary experience. I didn’t know whether or not to believe the doctors when they said that I would be fine. I felt awkward and anxious with each step.
It took several weeks to build back my confidence. I was told my situation was caused by dehydration, but in my mind I thought it was much worse. To build back confidence I literally had to take each run one step at a time.
In youth ministry you are going to face situations where your confidence is tested. You might deal with:
- A potentially angry parent.
- No one showing up to an event.
- Messing up your weekly message.
- Losing kids on a trip or retreat.
Some situations loom bigger than others. The only way through them is to lean in and use the confidence that you have. But, what if you don’t have any?
To build up your confidence and lead strong you need to make sure you:
STAY FOCUSED ON GOD’S PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE
When you lose site of your purpose it’s easy to get confused. When you get confused doubt and uncertainty will creep in. A leader who doubts God’s plan for his life will never move forward.
Revisit the vision and mission statement you have for the ministry. Pray over it. Hang it somewhere visible and share it with everyone you know. The more you know your purpose the smoother you can lead through confusion.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE
You are stronger when you know people have your back. Build a team of people you know who will go into battle with you. Invest in them and let them know they are valued. Someone who is valued will return the investment.
Build more confidence by seeking the support of your pastor. Honor him with what you do. Communicate what is happening in your ministry. The more he knows what is going on, the more he’ll trust you.
PROVIDE YOURSELF WITH LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
Equip yourself with knowledge and wisdom. Get involved in a small group. Network with other youth workers. Attend conferences and take copious notes. Having the know how will help you approach circumstances that need to be resolved on the fly.
REFUSE TO BELIEVE THAT FAILURE IS THE END
When you fall you need to get back up. Never look at failure as the end of your journey. Approach every mistake like it’s a learning opportunity. Reflect on the situation. Seek insight from others on what you could have done differently. And make it your goal not to repeat.
A strong leader is someone who has the right tools, resources and people around them. Build your confidence and lean in to the messiness that youth ministry can sometimes be. It might take time, but you will prevail in the end.
How do you build confidence? What moments in ministry or life have shaken you?