Coach vs. Companion

A few days ago I had to make a tough call. I had to tell another young lady that for the next three months, she was no longer welcome at our youth group. The reasons were complex, but let me assure you that it was an unavoidable and right decision. As you can understand, I became Public Enemy #1 in the eyes of a few of her closest friends. Though it’s not a very fun place to be, I learned a long time ago that you can never be their leader if you need them to always like you. I call it the balance between being a coach and being a companion in youth ministry. Granted, all significant youth ministry is relationally strong, but when the unavoidable times come where one of those two roles must win, I suggest that your coach role usually needs to trump your companion one.

In this month's Youth Leader's Coach, "Coach vs. Companion," I'm sharing some comparisons of being a leader and a friend in our students' lives. Now don’t hear me wrong. It's strategic in youth ministry to be a touchable friend and companion. Relationship is always king, but don't sacrifice your credentials to be their spiritual coach. In the end it's always worth it!


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