Guest Post by Danny Bowers
As Youth Pastors, we should all have a strong desire to build healthy adult leaders who will partner with us to invest in students.
So how do we do that?
As a youth worker, it’s not uncommon for most of your adult leaders to be as old as us, if not older. What right do we have to tell them how to serve? (Ever had this feeling? I sure have.) The difference in life experience can sometimes be weird. I find it odd when having coffee with an adult volunteer twice my age to be asked, “What am I supposed to do?”
Over the course of 10 years of youth ministry I’ve learned that adult leaders are more than willing to hear ideas & suggestions. They want to know how to best use the time they sacrifice in serving. They want to serve & make a difference in the kingdom.
Too often we forget that we aren’t just leading students; we’re also building up other shepherds. I’ve sat with people who have volunteered in every ministry I have overseen. From teachers, electricians, plumbers, to people who own their own private plane, each one of them benefited greatly from me modeling what was expected of them.
Modeling what you expect to see in your ministry is how you effectively set the tone for your ministry.
As the lead point person of the youth ministry you are leading, it’s important that you intentionally think about the actions, words, mindset, and spirit that you are modeling for your leaders. If you ask them to think about a student’s spiritual growth in their one on one conversation, then model it with them. If you expect volunteers to be on time to something, it’s vital that you are set up & ready for them when they walk in the door. When you plan an event/program that is outreach orientated, it better ooze the gospel from every pore it has. There is nothing wrong with training days for volunteers, evaluations, or even weekly emails to remind them of what is coming up and where you need help. But, however you choose to communicate, volunteer leaders need to be poured into constructively.
We can never look past what our adult leaders see in us and through our actions. They need to see the heartbeat of the Kingdom and the local ministry they are serving in through the key leader. They need to know who to follow & support regardless of age. Jesus spent a decent amount of time building up the early apostles of the church through words & actions. Following this model is probably not a bad idea.
Danny Bowers oversees the student ministries at Mission Hills Church in Mission Viejo, California. He is married to his high school sweetheart & they have two sons. You can follow Danny on his blog here.