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9 Ways to Help Young Leaders Shine

Youth leadership development is a topic that needs to be a top priority for any forward-thinking church (or school or community group.) After all, nothing represents the continuity of our energy and efforts more than the generation that follows us.

Today’s youth leaders represent our future, and our investment into the next generation will determine the return, so this is a responsibility to be taken seriously.

Interested in making sure your own youth leadership program is a shining success? Take these proven tips to heart, apply them and be amazed at the results.

A winning youth leadership development program is within your reach.

1. Make sure your pastor in on board.

The first key to a successful program is making sure it has the support of your church’s leadership. This is essential in ensuring the program moves forward with minimal speed bumps. Getting the approval shouldn’t be difficult, but it is necessary to give the program every chance of blossoming into an important part of your youth activities.

This also doesn’t mean your pastor needs to run the program. That responsibility can fall elsewhere.

2. Set clear and achievable goals.

Trying to run a successful youth leadership development program without clear, achievable goals is like trying to drive across country without a map. You may make progress, but chances are you won’t be taking the optimal route and you will certainly experience a great deal of frustration on your trip!

Sit down and put to paper short and long term goals for your program; the more clear cut, the better. Is it to graduate 20 students from the program this year? Write down your goals and do your best to make it happen. It’s much easier to hit a target when you know what you’re aiming for.

3. Trust youth.

One of the undeniable ways to show faith in your youth leadership development program is to entrust your church youth to make important decisions about the program. There’s hardly a better way to get church youth more enthusiastic about their program than by showing this kind of trust and confidence.

Now, of course, we need adults to mentor, spiritually guide and administer certain aspects of the youth leadership program, but this shouldn’t deny the key roles that senior youth can (and should) play. These are the kinds of experiences that mold our boys and girls into positive, caring and contributing men and women.

Embrace these opportunities every time you can!

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Matt Schoenherr is a marketing consultant, published author, speaker, consumer advocate, coach, Christian, business activist, risk-taker, mistake-maker, adventure race runner, business developer and entrepreneur. He and his wife, Kelly, live in Michigan with their four amazing children. He helps churches and community organizations develop successful leadership programs and may be reached through Levaire.