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3 Leadership Questions Youth Workers Must Ask

Bryant Westbrook
June 10th, 2021

As youth pastors there are 3 questions we must continually be asking ourselves to stay at the top of our game. If you haven’t been asking these questions already, right now is the time to start. We need to know the answers to these questions when students come back this summer and fall so we’ll be set up for success the best we can.

What’s your volunteer team strategy?

Your volunteer team is the most valuable part of your ministry and you need a strategy on how to lead them to maximize the potential. Your strategy doesn’t have to be some big elaborate thing; you simply need one that works for you. Here’s some starter questions to form a strategy of your own:

  • How are you taking care of your team? 
  • Are you developing them? Do you take time to intentionally have 1×1 conversations?
  • Are you serving them? Do you take the time to personally do something meaningful for your team? 
  • Do you celebrate wins together?

These questions will set you up for guaranteed success. If you spend time taking care of your leaders by training them in a group setting, having 1×1 personal development conversations, go out of your way to do something good for them, and you celebrate with them, they will go to bat for you. Getting these right are imperative.  Remember, your ministry is only as good as your team is.

We cannot plan for every move of God, but we can surely be prepared for one when it happens and it starts with our team. One of the things we’re tempted to say in ministry is that “we don’t have enough leaders.” I want to challenge you with this idea: If your ministry all of a sudden got 50 new students next week, would your team be able to operate? Maybe not even 50, but 20? What would happen to your team in that situation? Create a volunteer recruiting spreadsheet of potential leads and contact them at least once a week. This list can include all different types of people such as:

  • Students who recently graduated high school.
  • People in the database who have been around a while but not currently serving.
  • Parents of students who recently graduated.
  • People who have stopped serving recently.

Where do you see your ministry going?

It’s been said that vision leaks. Do you have a picture of where you want your ministry to head this summer and going into the fall?

If you have a difficult time coming up with vision/mission statements, something to consider is getting your team together ( no matter the size) and ask them the question, “Where do you guys see our ministry in 6 months? Or 1 year?”

Ask the team what they see the ministry becoming. Some of the best ideas for ministry lie within our team, if we just take time to ask them. If you do have a vision/mission or goal, put it in front of your team and get them pumped up about getting there. Tell them the goal and together identify the repeatable actions that will help your ministry reach the goal. Then in your team meetings leading up to the goal, recap on how the ministry is doing based on the actions.

How are you growing?

As hard as it is sometimes to read books, listen to podcasts or invest in training lessons, it’s something that must be done. Here are two of the best, inexpensive ways we can grow.

Books

  • There are many options of books to read, but what matters is choosing what you need in the season you are in. Something that will challenge you. A book I just finished reading is Business Made Simple by Donald Miller. The section he has in the book on leadership is pure gold! In this season I needed to be challenged in my leadership.
  • For you, you may need to find something about spiritual disciplines or even cultivating your heart for ministry.
  • Be honest with yourself, what are you lacking that you need to grow in right now?

Do you have a mentor?

  • I love my current mentor. He trains me, pushes me and gives me responsibility! 
  • Find a mentor to go to lunch with a couple times throughout the year and be encouraged and challenged by them. 
  • Find someone who is a little bit older than you and has a little more experience in ministry.

What are you doing to ensure you keep growing?

Bryant Westbrook

Bryant Westbrook is the youth director at First United Methodist Church is Valley Center, KS. Bryant has served as a missionary in Alaska, program staff for YouthWorks, treatment counselor for teens and has a passion for student leadership. Bryant's contact is bryant@fumcvc.com and he blogs at bryantwestbrook.wordpress.com.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.

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