In our staff meeting yesterday we spent sometime sharing our thoughts about the future of our 'team' now that we have hired, finally, a full time worship pastor. We're very excited about the prospect of team development within the staff itself and then as an outcome of that development, the gains in leadership ability we will be able to employ in our areas of ministry. As I thought about this I realized that my weakest ability in my area of ministry was to lead my adult volunteers well. They are great people and have really taken to our youth ministry like fish to water, but they have done so without a lot of guidance, training and development from me. It's kind of been all on them to get with the program, which makes me feel really bad as the leader of the ministry. I realized that as the leader of the youth ministry, I need to step up my game and begin to make up for lost time with my adult sponsors. There are great training and leadership development resources out there, but I think the biggest gain in their development as leaders of young people is going to come from me becoming a better leader of them, and that is going to take hard work, time, energy, and some big time servanthood on my part. I know that if I want our youth ministry to make lasting impacts on the lives of our students then my adult sponsors need to be encouraged and confident in their calling to youth ministry and know that they are supported, cared for, and being spiritually fed and developed.
It's an odd transition in thought for me. I always thought that youth ministry was solely about the students and their spiritual growth and development, but the more experience I gain the more I realize that the growth and development of both me and the adult sponsors is very important as well. Having strong leadership in place can do nothing but help our ministry long term; and having a sustainable, effective, God-honoring youth ministry should be a goal of every church in the world.