If you’re in youth ministry, and you’re smart, you’ve surrounded yourself with talented, capable people who love your teenagers just as much as you do. People who can multiply your leadership and help crank up the volume on how many teens your youth ministry can reach.
Hopefully you’re applying yourself to coaching, mentoring, and raising up your adult and teen leaders. Good leaders want a team that’s as good as they are. Great leaders want a team that’s better than they are! If you aren’t already, make it a super high priority to get some one-on-one time with each of your volunteers. Seriously. It will pay off, way more than you might suspect. The return on the investment of a cup of coffee and an hour of conversation has blown my mind, time and time again.
And hopefully you’re meeting with your team as a whole, on a semi-regular basis. It is a monumental task to get everyone’s schedules to line up, but is it ever worth it! I’ve found that a Monday night every month and a half or so, in someone’s home over coffee and desserts, seems to work for us. I like to cap meetings at 90 minutes, which means we have to keep things moving to get through the whole agenda. But before we get down to the nuts and bolts of business, I always, without exception, start us off with three questions. Maybe you’ll find them helpful…
“HOW ARE YOU?” – Is there something super exciting, or super concerning or frustrating, going on in any of our team members lives? If they are rejoicing over something (i.e. a promotion, engagement, baby, etc.) we want to celebrate with them. If they are troubled about something, we want to support them and help carry their burden. If they are on the verge of crisis, they probably won’t be able to focus on the rest of the meeting anyway.
“HOW ARE THEY?” – Who are the students that we see excelling, growing, giving themselves to the group and to God. Which of our teens are chasing after discipleship in a way that needs to be fueled, encouraged, and resourced? Which of our teens are at-risk or in crisis? How can we as a team strategically be involved in their life?
“HOW ARE WE?” – Is everyone on the team feeling good about our team dynamic? Are there things we need to air out and issues that we need to talk about? Let’s not leave room for competition, bitterness, or resentment. How is everyone feeling in relationship to the church as a whole?
I’m cheering for you, from my little corner of the world, to lead your teams well and grow the impact of your youth ministry. May your leadership, and investment in leadership, bring the Kingdom in your church, your schools, and your students!