y t h o l o g y LIVE! | Episode 9 |
Looking deep into our own personal leadership isn't easy. But, it is worth it.
How do we evaluate leadership? Analytics have become the internal measurement and assessment of mission. Corporate and athletic organizations are studying the data that creates outcomes. And analytics begins with me.
Let me begin by saying it is not by comparing ourselves to everything and everyone else. Analytics is done by comparing our self with our self and our vision or mission.
Have I reached my potential? Have I done everything with everything that I have? The clearest analytic to determining success begins with self-analyzation.
We treat ourselves differently than we treat everyone else. Especially as it relates to our spiritual lives. The problem with that is simple. We allow thoughts, attitudes, and actions into our own life that we would call detestable in another person's life.
It's time we put a lot more pressure on ourselves. Self-Leadership is much more important than leading others. But, I think you would find it much easier to lead others if you led yourself well.
With that in mind, here are 5 Dangerous Questions For A YTH Leader.
Answering these honestly can give us a feel for the kind of work we are doing. Seek the honest answers to these and then do something about correcting areas that you feel are neglected. Great leaders do regular assessment and evaluation.
1. When is the last time you cried for a teenager?
Notice I did not say, 'When is the last time you cried because of a teenager?' Teenagers can make you laugh and make you so excited to be in YTH Ministry one week. And then make you cry and pull your hair out and quit the next week.
But when we are in love with young people, we cry for them and not because of them.
When I think about the teenagers of America and what they are dealing with today, I am broken weekly. I have the vantage point of talking with teens across the country and hearing story after difficult story.
Compassion and love were the greatest traits of Christ. One of my favorite moments in scripture happened when Jesus was overlooking the city of Jerusalem. He saw them as a people without a shepherd and began weeping over the city from the top of the mount.
Ask them questions:
| What is your dream? | What is your favorite subject in school? | How can I pray for you? | Who is your best friend? And why? | What is your favorite music, movie, TV show? | If you could change one thing in your life what would it be? | How can I be a better leader in your life?
2. Do you avoid asking about numbers?
Ah, the numbers game. We probably don't feel very comfortable talking about numbers and attendance if our numbers aren't strong. And we look jealously or angrily at others that might feel comfortable talking about numbers.
We have to unlearn some things. Now, we all agree that the people are more important than numbers. Right? But remember, the numbers represent people.
Maybe we should be emphasizing numbers AND people more. As I heard Tommy Barnett (the long-time Pastor of thousands of people) say, 'We count people because people count!'
Don't avoid asking or talking about numbers. If your heart is right, you are really asking about the people. Something we should all care more about.
Roster V. Attendance
If you have 30 at your YTH service and 90 on your roster, you have 90 students in your YTH Ministry! Stop focusing merely on the attenders. And focus on the entire roster. Even if they come once a month or once in a quarter, they are your students. And call your Church home.
3. What is your response when presented with an opportunity to leave YTH Ministry for an Executive position, Church Planting, or Lead Pastor position?
This is the longevity discussion.
I hear about this weekly from young leaders. Another position has come up and entices them to consider leaving YTH Leadership. More money, more authority, more recognition, and no more over-nighters and fund-raisers and taking junior high boys home after the YTH Service or an event.
My response is always the same. 'Why would you want to take a demotion?'
Paramount to this discussion is the call of God. It's not about the problems at your Church, you don't like the weather, or another opportunity has come. Solve the problems. Dress for the weather. And opportunity is not the will of God.
And if God called you to YTH Leadership, why would He change His mind and call you away from it? I truly believe that if we could help young YTH Leaders solve problems, stay spiritual, and learn the changing roles that we go through in YTH Leadership, we would not see so much transition.
There is tremendous value from moving through the stages of influence in a teens life. As a YTH Leader you can move from their friend, big brother/sister, father/mother, to their grandfather/grandmother! You just need to re-invent yourself and expand your gifts and talents.
Here's your focus for longevity:
| SOLVE PROBLEMS | BUILD BETTER RELATIONSHIPS | GET A MENTOR | RE-INVENT YOURSELF | SEE THE WHOLE CITY AS YOUR PARISH
4. Are we producing fans or disciples?
Fans are living one life at Church and have another life outside of Church. Disciples live centric Christianity. God is the center of their life and not a person they visit once a week. Fans attend, eat popcorn, and watch the show. Disciples are involved, make the popcorn, and are the show.
Here's a lesson to unlearn.
Do not define YTH Ministry by what happens at Church on Wednesday Funday (or whenever you have group). We have to understand that more miracles and stories happened in the Bible outside the Temple than inside the Temple.
We have to balance our production and administration time IN THE OFFICE, with our people and relationship time OUTSIDE OF THE OFFICE. Then the students will see Christianity in their world. And not just in our world.
Making disciples out of fans:
| THEOLOGY AND THE WORD | PERSONAL MENTORING OF KEY KIDS | PRIORITY AND DEPTH IN WORSHIP/MUSIC | CREATING AVENUES TO SERVE OUTSIDE OF CHURCH | NUETRAL SITE SERVICE | TAKE WORSHIP, PRAYER, AND BIBLE READING OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH (temple)
5. Are quality leaders leaving the Youth Team?
Have you grown in your personal spiritual and natural giftings? If you don't, you will lose gifted leaders. A healthy YTH Leader will attract healthy YTH Leaders.
The spiritual gifts are the disciplines such as prayer, fasting, reading, study, and worship. The natural gifts would include communication/preaching, relational skills, administration, and leadership development. Develop these regularly.
I've heard people say that no one rises to a level above their leader. I don't agree with that at all. Let me tell you who will rise above their leader. Another leader. Especially one who is more desperate and more hungry than the leader over them.
We need personal and team leadership development on a cyclical basis. Whether you are in a large or small setting, rural or urban setting, volunteer or full-time leader, the YTH Leader meeting looks something like this.
Here is a great YTH Leader meeting flow:
| RELATIONSHIP BUILDING (chill time) | OUTCOMES OR WINS (student stories) | FOOD | CALENDAR AND EVENT PLANNING (assignments) | TRAINING (video, book, article, guest) | PRAYER AND WORSHIP (spiritual disciplines together)
Analytics begins with you. And then extends through these 5 questions. Good leadership happens with great assessment and measurement. Do a little mid-course correction right now. Use these 5 questions to personally assess your outcomes and mission.
It will tell you how well you are doing the work and the ministry God has called you to. Evaluating our mission and vision is not easy. It requires honesty. But, evaluating our mission and vision is valuable.