So, I usually have so many ideas floating around in my head that it is a difficult for me to decide what to write, but this week was easy as God has provided me with 2 different situations that led to a great blog post.
If you know me then you know I am a pretty typical Type A personality. I always want to be leading from the front and making decisions. I want to be in charge, but I struggle with delegating and allowing others to speak into the conversation. I have grown in this area, especially in ministry, and I am light years ahead of where I was when I started full time ministry 11+ years ago.
I was presented with the opportunity to give away some leadership pieces a few months ago. Our student ministry came into possession of 2 couches, 2 chairs, and 2 ottomans. This is not an unusual happening in student ministry. We are called all the time about hand-me-down furniture, but this furniture was from another ministry in our church. I was presented with the problem of figuring out how I was going to get this furniture from the bottom floor of our building into The Hangar, which is the 3rd floor of our education building.
I have found that it can be difficult to give up pieces of leadership to others. What do I mean by that? As the Student Pastor, I am ultimately in charge of everything that happens in the Student Ministry at FBC Enterprise. However, I am one man. There is only so much that I can do and only so much time in which to do it. I am not only the student pastor, but I am also a husband to an incredible wife and the dad to 2 wonderful little boys. I also am in leadership in Cub Scout Pack 77. Needless to say, I have a lot of things going on, which means that I have to follow Christ’s example in the Bible of calling out a team of people to walk alongside me in leadership. Christ called 12 men to walk with him and minister with him during His earthly ministry and pastors should do the same.
I have an awesome team of adult leaders here at FBC Enterprise. I couldn’t ask for better excellence in the areas of leadership they have in the Student Ministry at FBCE. However, I do think that we all fall into the trap in believing that adults are the only people that can serve in Student Ministry. We need to take 1 Timothy 4:12 to heart…
1 Timothy 4:12 (ESV)
12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity
I think as people who lead teenagers, either at home, in the classroom, at church, or on the sports field we can do three things to help them step into leadership now before they become adults.
Give them space to lead creatively
We, as people who lead teenagers, need to resource and guide them to lead others. We need to provide the boundaries and let them get creative within that box. You will be amazed at what they come up with
Give them opportunities to lead
We need to manufacture opportunities where students can flex their leadership muscles. Let them get out there, lead, fail and succeed. If we can do this effectively they will hopefully see the need to serve others no matter their age.
Teens are the best truth detectors their are. They can tell when a person or thing isn’t real. They can tell when you aren’t leading correctly or for the right reasons. Lead well because they are watching you.
This brings me to another opportunity to give away leadership that has presented itself. For the next three week our seniors are in total control over the programming during on Wednesday night Student Worship. They are planning the announcements, the games, the worship, and most important of all the biblical content and speaking. I’ve guided them through this process, but the decisions are theirs.