I posted a tweet the other day, and since then I’ve just been thinking 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.”
As leaders of a ministry, we sometimes get caught in the trap of thinking we need to be the ones in the limelight. That we are the ones students need to post about. That we need to be the ones in all the photos of “favorite people” at your ministry. 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 youth group” and my first reaction was…
“Really? I run this thing.”
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 who 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 another leader… rejoice! It means you are letting them lead.
Here is just a quick list of things I want to give away 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. Get leaders and students involved in planning and executing your service and events, and watch them take ownership.
- 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. When planning, I want to let 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 they have relationships with. Let them do what you do.
- Decisions and baptisms. I cannot wait for the day when 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 effective leader. What would you add?