Give It Away, Give It All Away

I posted a tweet the other day and it just got me thinking even more and more about it. Here it is to give you some context:

“When students post how God is moving in their lives & mention your leaders, not you… rejoice. It’s a good thing, you’re letting them lead.”

It just got me thinking as leaders of a ministry, we sometimes get caught in the trap of thinking in which we need to be the ones in the lime light. We are the ones in which students need to post about. We need to be the ones in all the photos of “favorite people” at SHIFT (enter your own ministry name there). Someone posted a picture the other day with one of our leaders saying, “This person has shown me more about God and has helped me grow more than anyone at SHIFT” and my first reaction was…

“Really? I’m the one who teaches every week.”

Then I immediately felt convicted and realized I am actually doing what I want to be doing. I want to give away everything. I know I cannot effectively minister to everyone that shows up on a Wednesday. I know I need more and more caring adults pouring into the lives of students. When they do that, our ministry becomes more and more attractive because of the relationships formed. When students don’t post about us but about leader, rejoice, it means you are letting them lead.

Here is just a quick list of things I want to give away more and more and maybe you should work on this too:

  • Time with students. I want to really pour into my small group guys and allow leaders to go and invest in more students. When we do this, it makes our big group feel small.
  • Give away control of services. This year we have 4 weeks called You Own The Night where students take over the service by our most pulled from high schools and they do everything. They plan it, teach it, organize the event and more. Not only that, we have a few Leaders Own The Night giving the night over to our leaders where they will teach on what they feel god has laid on their hearts.
  • Campus ministry. I could make a full-time job of campus ministry with how much stuff goes on in schools. I want to give away leadership and ownership to our student leadership team and encourage them to own taking up outreach on their own campuses. They know way more students than I do.
  • Give away ideas. I know I have good ideas. But not all my ideas are the best ideas. I want to work on in planing to allow the “best idea win” and collaborate more than I ever have with my team, with our leaders and with our students to come up with the best ideas to reach more students.
  • Give away titles. I learned this from Doug Fields and Josh Griffin. Give away your title. Your leaders are pastors. You might be the paid pastor, but give away your title and allow your leaders to be pastors to the students in which they are in relationship with. Let them do what you do.
  • Decisions and baptisms. I cannot wait for the day in which no students ask me to baptize them, but they ask the leaders who are involved in their lives to baptize them instead. That is how I know I am being a great leader.

These are just a few off the top of my head but I can tell you I will continue to work on this list of things to give away so I can be a more and more effective leader. What would you add?

 

@justinknowles3

 

About the Author:

Justin Knowles has been a pastor for the last 8 years and is the Lead Student Ministries Pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley in San Dimas, CA. He oversees 7th-12th grade and has an amazing team that put on midweek services for junior high and high school students. He is passionate about reaching all kinds of students for Jesus, leading teams and writing about his learnings in ministry on the blog.

3 Comments

  1. Brett Baranic November 28, 2016 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Give away over-planning. If we want our leaders to develop authentic relationships with students, we need to open up space for them to host informal gatherings. They have families that need to be the priority, so we can’t ask them to lead a group effectively AND show up to constant events.

    • Justin Knowles November 29, 2016 at 8:42 am - Reply

      Brett, this is a great one! I agree so much!

  2. […] this episode, Tom and Justin talk about a recent blog post Justin did entitled “Give it Away, Give it All Away” […]

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