Youth ministry is a tough job. As I said earlier, youth pastors are busy people with tons of ideas. Ideas that they would love to see put into action. However, these ideas never become a reality without other people. Leaders are a crucial part of leadership but there nothing if you don’t empower them. Ministry is not about doing things by yourself. One of the things I learned in my ministry is the importance of empowering people for leadership. I have one of the best leadership teams in the country helping out on Sunday night.
Even though all power comes from the Lord, there are things that can be done by the pastor to empower leadership.
- Communication: Communication and vision are key in ministry. If you can communicate your vision clearly, you’ll go far. Whenever a change or a decision is made that will effect the group, the first thing that has to be done is cast a clear vision. Vision casting is communicating with the team, telling the group the course of action. Vision casting provides complete direction for everyone in the group to follow. If the people you expect to lead don’t see the vision or direction of the ministry, then they will feel worthless and have no idea what to do. Communication is always number one. Jesus was very clear about the vision. He was always communicating with the twelve about the way ministry should work. The disciples were empowered after they spent time with Christ. They saw the vision clearly because he cast it so well. They were strong even after Jesus left because the got the message.
- Motivation and influence: Just because you make a decision as a pastor doesn’t always mean it’s going to be well received. People sometimes feel worthless when a new idea is introduced because they feel like they are not doing a good job. What you hear from God could be completely different from what your leader sitting next to you has heard. Be sensitive to others but firm in the vision. Influence and motivate your leadership to understand and use their spiritual gifts to get the job done. When you influence leadership they realize how their personal spiritual gifts will fit into your vision. We all have an active role in the body of Christ and we need to be motivated at times to see that. Motivation and influence causes your leadership to have an identity and ownership in the group. Motivation and influence is all about encouraging and uplifting the other person.
- Listen: Your leadership should know you better than anyone else. Because they know you so well, they know your strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes what your leaders says to you can hurt. However, the truth hurt, so be prepared for it. It’s what you do with the feedback that matters. Work on your strenghths and empower your leaders to help you with your weaknesses. After all, you can’t do everything yourself, you need these people. There part of the body too.
- Join: Work with people, not at them. If your not doing the same thing your leadership is doing then your not part of the team, your an outsider. Roll up your sleeves and getting dirty serving the Lord with your team. There part of the family.
Empower your leaders!