Whether you are full-time and paid, or whether you a volunteer overseeing youth ministry, we all need good leaders to partner with us. We all need adult and students leaders to make ministry happen and to see that lives are impacted for the kingdom. If we think we can be the lone ranger, we are mistaken. Great ministry happens when we are surrounded by great leaders who share the vision and care deeply about students.
The Big Question: How can I recruit and develop great leaders?
Of course,it should be a given that it’s about God’s power and providence. There are also many answers to this one question, but I believe and have seen that there is one crucial element and answer that will make the difference between great leaders and average or bad leaders…. Are you ready for it?
It begins with who you are!
It stands to reason that it’s not a good idea to buy hair products from someone with no hair. It stands to reason that you should not go to a dentist whose has teeth like Austin Powers. It should stand to reason that your leaders and partners in ministry will not partner with you if you are not the real deal. Or, if they do work with, they are likely never to live up to their full potential if you are not living up to it yourself… Here’s how it works:
If I want my leaders to do the little but hugely important things like phone the kids, or send a postcard in the mail, or take a student out for coffee… it’s important that I take time to call or write… If I want my leaders to be growing in their faith and always have something to encourage and share with kids, it will depend on how I am doing in my faithwalk. If I want my leaders to stay cool in high pressure situations, over time it will depend on how I do the same. If I want my leaders to become good listeners for the students, it will depend on how I do the same for them. Bottom line: I can’t expect my leaders to do what I am not doing… My words and training mean little if I am leading by example.
I meet a lot of frustrated leaders who need volunteers or have volunteers and are frustrated with them. We have to remember that we are all works in progress, and no one changes over night, but over time, our leaders will lead in the way it is modeled for them. It’s painful to admit, but if we can take an honest look at ourselves and allow God to change us, we will have a greater impact when we do the very things that we would like our leaders to do. More people will volunteer and their effectiveness will be greater… so will yours, (and mine).
You see it’s the idea that leaders will learn leadership better when it is modelled for them. It’s the whole idea that Paul speaks of in 1 Thessalonians chapter 1:
You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.
It’s the whole idea that our leaders, our partners in ministry and our student leaders will become (over time and not instantly), what is modelled for them.
So, what kind of imitators are your leaders becoming? Today, take a look at some areas of your leadership and consider what small and important things you can do to model great leadership. What are some of the things you can care well for your leaders so that they care well for the kids you see every week. What phone calls do you need to make? Who needs a note in the mail? What truth does God want to impress on your heart that you can inspire your leaders with?
What is God saying to you today about who He wants you to become? How will that impact your leaders? How will impact God’s Kingdom?