One challenge every leader faces is when to bend and when to stand firm. You don’t want to seem unruly but then again protecting the integrity of what you do is important.
In youth ministry requests to make exceptions come in many different forms. Requests come from parents, teenagers, your pastor and volunteers. Some are predictable and others are very personal. In the end you need to discern:
You’ve reached your limit. You can no longer endure. As you drive home after another long night you wonder, “Can I keep doing this? The temptation is to say, “No.” But, is it the right answer?
This past week my pastor and I headed to the NCCYM in San Antonio to speak. We were there to share the Rebuilt story and promote my upcoming book Rebuilding Youth Ministry.
During our time there youth ministers shared with us the challenges they faced. It was a little heart breaking because behind each story was the question:
As a kid I remember the excitement of going door to door on Halloween yelling, “Trick or Treat“. Each time I got candy. I never had to trick someone. And, honestly I didn’t want to. I didn’t have time for tricks.
As a youth minister I still don’t have time for tricks. But, I often find myself believing the lies and pressures that come with youth ministry. In fact all youth ministers face the same pressures. While each of them are unique if you fall for them it’ll put your ministry in danger.
Four tricks that take away the sweetness of youth ministry are:
One of the most frequent questions my coworkers and I get asked is, “What do I do if my pastor is not on board?” At the same time I know our pastor has received a similar question, “What do I do if my staff is not on board?” The answer is simple:
Again, it’s simple, but not necessarily easy. Nonetheless staff unity is a problem way to important to ignore. If you do not have staff unity you not only limit the growth of your ministry, but put in jeopardy the health of your church. So, what can one person do?
I used to cringe at the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It makes like life sound like a popularity contest. Almost as if relationships were more important than knowledge. The truth is I didn’t understand it’s impact.
Who you know will not only determine how long you will last, but how far you will go. Ministry is very relational. Who you know will help you build trust with parents. It will help you reach out to more teens.
Who you know goes beyond the parents, the teens and even your volunteers. It extends all the way to: