5 Overly Honest Confessions of a Youth Leader

I’m gonna break some rules today.

If you know anything about ministry, you know that transparency isn’t a strong suit of most Christians; especially Christian leaders. I’m no different.

But sometimes, it helps if we know that other leaders are dealing with the same issues we deal with. That’s the intention for this post. If it’s a success, it might be the beginning of a series. Here goes nothin’!

1. Often, I try to do ministry in my own strength. I feel like I can push things through. This is nothing short of sin. It’s what Craig Groeschel calls “practical atheism.” It’s when you believe God exists, but you do ministry as if it’s all up to you. It’s funny how our actions expose our true beliefs. We’d never say it out loud, but our beliefs are manifested in our actions.

2. Sometimes, I want to hide in a corner. I’m not a natural leader by any stretch of the imagination. Every single piece of leadership ability in me is learned. That means that I can easily crumble in uncertain times. My default is fear. I have to find strength in God every day. I’m not naturally fearless. I have to talk myself into following God most times.

3. I’m an introverted leader. Most days, I feel like that’s a weakness, even though studies are showing that introverts can lead just as well as extroverts. It doesn’t matter. I still question my leadership ability in the shadow of extroverted leaders who thrive in a crowd. That’s something I battle often.

4. The most painful moment in my day is when a student goes out of their way to avoid me. It doesn’t matter why. Most times, it happens because the student hasn’t been in church in a long time. Sometimes, it’s because the student has been into stuff they shouldn’t be. I’m sure there are a lot of times that students don’t like something I said or did. Whatever the case: I hate it. I wish I could somehow explain that I’d LOVE for them talk to me through their struggles rather than run in the fear that I’ll be upset.

5. I hate teenage relationships. Yeah, I was in them, and no, I don’t expect my students to be perfect. But I can’t help but hate to see when a bad breakup happens. It’s especially bad when two students in the same student ministry date, break up and then engage in the awkward “who stays and who goes” thing. I don’t have a solution for this yet.

So, join me. Should we keep this up? What are your confessions?  `

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Mark Cox
Mark is the Student Pastor at Indian Springs Baptist Church just outside Little Rock, Arkansas. He has a passion to help students realize their potential in God’s Kingdom.