Dealing With Potential; Not Just Problems
Remember that old saying, "It's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil"? Sometimes that principle is even true in youth ministry. We find ourselves focusing much of our time and energy around our "problem kids." Somehow, our average students who don't have any big problems get lost in the mix.
That's what this Youth Leader's Coach deals with. I entitled it "Dealing With Potential; Not Just Problems." It's just a time to remind ourselves how to effectively help our average students to unlock their God-given potential. Like the father in the New Testament prodigal son account, we youth leaders find it easy to celebrate the "prodigal son" more than celebrating the "elder brother" who never left in the first place.
Lovingly admiring the Elder Brother,
As leaders, we can be decent motivators for the Kingdom, but too often rotten trainers. Sometimes it feels as if the local football and basketball coaches do a better job at training, encouraging and aligning our students than we do in youth ministry. This Youth Leader's Coach is dedicated to changing that...to taking student leadership teams to the next level.
My heartbeat is for us to become exceptionally intentional at helping our students become better "owners" than "renters" of our ministries through modeling, motivating and mobilizing them in their leadership development and decision-making.
What a privilege we have been given, to participate in the character formation of Christ-honoring leaders. Let's take advantage of the opportunity that lies before us!
In this Youth Leader's Coach I am hitting on the number one defining characteristic of a youth ministry that makes deep impact in students' lives. This is the characteristic of "David-Jonathan Youth Ministry." People ask me all the time for the "how-tos" of running a successful youth ministry. But the bottom line of youth ministry, far beyond the "how-tos," is what I'm sharing with you today. Relational discipleship takes the hard work and creative ideas in your youth ministry to a whole new level. Without it, youth ministry really can become hollow.
Let me share three prayers taken from the story of David and Jonathan that have set the focus of my own youth ministry. This focus is not on all the bells and whistles, though they are cool and often essential, but rather on building relational bridges to the hearts of the students that we then simply let Jesus walk across. I often like to say "inch by inch youth ministry's a cinch; yard by yard youth ministry's hard." Together we will take one inch at a time towards a youth ministry defined by the spirit of David and Jonathan.
Doing youth ministry one inch at a time,
In this Youth Leader's Coach I hit on a topic that, quite frankly, I do not see a lot of us being very good at, yet this is such an essential key in youth ministry! We're talking about "The Power To Bring The Best Out In People."
The implications of being able to encourage people to be all they can, are seen in every relationship - from your teenagers and leaders to your friendships and family. Authentic, genuine encouragement and affirmation has the great power to draw the best out in people! Let me dialogue with you about this vital ability we all need to keep developing in our lives. This is going to be a good one!
Affirming the best in you,
It's been said that "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." How true. And in youth ministry, we need to help ignite that process almost every day. Have you ever wondered how certain leaders seem to pull the best out in those around them? They seem to know how to generate the extra effort from those they lead whether it's the students in the youth group itself or the volunteer leaders.
That topic is what this valuable Youth Leader's Coach is all about. I've entitled it, "Bringing Out The Best In People." And because it is such a crucial topic, I have made this a two-part coaching communication. John Gardner once said that "The best-kept secret in America today is that people would rather work hard for something they believe in than enjoy a pampered idleness." I think that quote is especially true when it comes to youth ministry. So grab a cup of coffee and let's have some fun talking about this really vital aspect of ministry.
Rarely in our Youth Leader's Coach family do I give you a two-part coaching communication. But this Youth Leader's Coach, "Bringing Out The Best In People - Part 2," represents a topic that is so crucial that I wanted to spend more time with you on it.
You'll hear me deal with simple keys that will truly be the "make it or break it" within the relational life of both your youth ministry and your leadership team. So enjoy our moments together and know that in reality, "People are failures, not because they are stupid, but because they are not sufficiently impassioned."
Still committed to "Frog-Kissing,"
Most everyone in youth ministry will enjoy and benefit from this mentoring time. Most of us do at least a portion of our daily leadership from the "Number 2 Chair." So this Youth Leader's Coach, "Building Great Assistant Youth Leaders," is focused in two directions. First, I want to help you as the primary youth leader to understand some of the struggles and mind games that "assistant youth leaders" (whatever you might call them) face on a daily basis.
But secondly, I want this Youth Leader's Coach to be something that you can reproduce to give to your volunteer youth leaders. I truly believe that it will make them better leaders for you and help to multiply their loyalty and effectiveness. So "happy duplicating" on this one. I pray that our time together translates to a more fulfilling ministry for you as well as those around you.
Cheering for the "Number 2 Chair,"
Maybe you saw it on TV too. It was an interview with a surviving mountain-climbing guide. He was guiding amateur climbers to the peak of Mount Everest and in one of those climbs, two of his fellow guides lost their lives. The interview gave powerful insights into how we can help others "go to the next level" in their climb up the Mountain of God.
"Helping Others Go To Higher Ground" weaves together principles from the Word, from life, and from this interview. The focus of our time together in this Youth Leader's Coach answers one of youth ministry's greatest questions: "How do I help motivate the teenagers in my youth ministry and my leaders to pursue continued spiritual and personal growth?" The guide's answer to one of the interviewer's closing questions makes the whole Youth Leader's Coach worth the listening to. The interviewer asked, "After seeing so vividly the dangers of leading a group of amateur climbers, I can't understand why you keep doing this." The guide paused and then said, "Obviously, you haven't been to the top."
Still trying to lead others toward "The Top,"
I bet you'll listen to this Youth Leader's Coach pretty quickly! It's entitled, "Helping Your Teenagers Walk In Sexual Purity." And trust me, it's one of the biggest battlegrounds you'll ever have to coach your kids through. Unfortunately, in the church world, we often preach fired up messages about the importance of sexual purity without carefully laying out a game plan that helps them to move in that direction.
So grab a cup of coffee and come hang out with me for an hour or so. You'll be glad you did. After all, how many people have discussed this topic with you recently? Happy coaching!
Ever wonder what an iceberg, a starving baker, rivers and floods, chess and checkers and the bit market have to teach us about "Taking Your Leadership To The Next Level"? In this Youth Leader's Coach I am thrilled to be joined by my good friend, Tim Elmore, as we present old truths in a brilliant new way. Tim has worked for years with John Maxwell and now heads up GrowingLeaders.com. He has recently written several books on Habitudes: Images that form leadership habits and attitudes.
Listen as he shares 5 "habitudes" to help you grow your own leadership ability while doing youth ministry. Grab a cup of coffee and let's unpack the key traits every youth pastor and leader should know. These leadership images will be a breath of fresh air for you!
Eagerly still learning new "Habitudes,"
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name." (John 15:16)
We are called by Christ to bear fruit that lasts, yet fewer than one in ten young adults mention faith as their top priority and only three million out of ninety-five million who are ages 18 to 41 have a biblical worldview. How can we give our students "fruit that lasts"? Listen to this Super Session as Jay Mooney, Youth Director of Assembly of God National, gives us seven characteristics of a "Lasting-Fruit Youth Ministry."