|Credit: Creative Commons (Francois Schnell)|
Over the years, I've had the opportunity to work with a lot of youth workers, many of whom have been very close friends. One thing that's troubled me over the past decade is that many of those youth workers--who loved Jesus very much and were great at building relationships with teenagers--struggled in leading their youth ministries. Some didn't relate to parents very well and didn't know how to support them. Others didn't know how to be a part of a staff or how to lead a team of volunteers. (I'd put myself in that category, especially in my first few years as a youth pastor.)
Many, many good youth workers in staff positions are not good leaders. I know that it's an area I've needed to grow a lot in myself. I realize that not every youth pastor is a disorganized slob who doesn't know how to show up on time to a staff meeting, but there are some aspects of the stereotype that hold true: too many of us aren't good at being leaders in our churches and ministries.
So what does it mean to be a good leader as a youth pastor?
That's exactly the question I hope to tackle over the next few days. Since it's a journey I'm on as well, I'm hoping for plenty of interaction and input, even from those of you who don't spend a ton of time in the youth ministry world. I'll be back tomorrow with the first of three leadership qualities all youth pastors should have. Until then, chime in on this question:
What is the difference between a youth worker who's simply good with teenagers and a youth worker who's a great leader?
Update: You can read part two of the series here and part three here.