7 Common Traits Of A Leader

I grew up only a few minutes away from George Washington’s Headquarters in Morristown, NJ.  I enjoyed the legend the came with this great leader.  Whether it was crossing the Delaware to surprise the Brits or delivering an ultimatum to the French in the French and Indian War.

While youth ministry might not require you to lead a group of teens across a freezing river in the dead of winter, it will present some leadership moments.  

If you want to be a leader that people will follow and trust, then you need to embrace certain traits.  For example leaders:

When Your Pastor Chews You Out

No one, especially my pastor, likes to be caught off guard.  Surprises allow emotions to take over and it causes the situation to grow complex.  When my pastor had to learn from a separate source that I lost money on a fundraiser, he definitely showed and expressed his disappointment.

It was a difficult moment.  One where I wanted to cry, yell and hide.  Instead I just stood there as he chewed me out.  That night I didn’t know how I was going to move on from that moment.  Fortunately, the next day was a new day and it was new beginning.  He and I were able to resolve the situation and move forward.

It’s not easy when your boss chews you out.  Not sure if you are defensive, but fighting back isn’t the way to go.  Maybe you just take it like a sponge, but holding on too long will break you apart.  When you get chewed or called out by your leader the best thing to do is:

Make Meetings More Than A Meeting

If you need to meet with me make it worth my time.  I’m a meeting snob, because I have little margin and do not want it compromised.  I want to leave a meeting feeling inspired, and ready to take on what was discussed.

I know I’m a little demanding when it comes to meeting integrity; however, they can be the death of your organization if not done correctly.  You are asking people to sacrifice an important commodity (Time) that can not be returned.  

What To Do With Teens In Crisis

I usually do not pick up my phone on Friday nights, but this time was different.  It was a coworker explaining to me that there was a teen in crisis and I should lean in.  I was reluctant at first, not because it was an “Off Night” but because the situation was intimidating.

If your ministry is effective it’s going to deal with a lot of painful situations.  You will lose teenagers to death, you will discover dark stories and people will rely on you for hope.  It is difficult and can be intimidating; however, your presence can be a blessing.  

What you need to do is make sure it doesn’t take over your life.  That’s where the pushback to getting in the mess will be.  First, if you feel intimidated or overwhelmed that’s okay.  What you need to do is respond to the crisis by:

Why You Have To Be The Bad Guy

“Ohio?” I could sense the frustration coming from the parent.  She didn’t want her kid to go, but as I explained the retreat was a requirement for Confirmation.  If she didn’t like what we did there were other churches with programs that would fit her liking. It was time to be the bad guy.

You are tempted and pushed to please people.  You are inclined to make people happy because it means that they’ll come to your youth program.  Happy parents means no conflict or tension.  The problem with being the nice guy is that it’s a key to being burned out and used.  Sometimes to make your ministry grow you need to have people NOT LIKE YOU.