Checking On Your Leadership Corner
There are some weeks when I am preparing a message for our student ministry gatherings that I will leave the church and go work on it at a coffee shop. Most times when I go to a coffee shop in town, I will run into people that I know. The other day I ran into one of my youth pastor friends. We began to talk about our college days and about some of the ridiculous stories. Before we knew it, we had been talking about those memories for an hour. There is one thing that I miss most about college: COMMUNITY.
Leaders recognize that there is power in community whenever you are trying to achieve a goal or finish a collaborative project. But do we recognize that same power in our circle of influence? How often do we look to see who is in our corner and if we have the right people in our corner? The community that you desire needs to be built intentionally.
There is story that come to mind when I think about community. The story is found in Luke 5:1-11. Jesus was preaching to a crowd of people on the shore of Lake Gennesaret where he had taken the boat from Simon to use as a platform to speak from so the crowd wouldn’t trample one another like a Black Friday shopping experience. Simon and some other professional fisherman had just come in from an overnight fishing trip where they had caught NOTHING. As soon as Jesus had finished speaking to the crowd, he told Simon to go into the deeper water and cast your net. A tired, exhausted Simon went back out with the other fisherman. Jesus saw an empty boat as an opportunity, while the fisherman saw it as a failure.
Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.” It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch. -Luke 5:5-7 (The Message)
This story is the very beginning for the disciples as they began to trust and follow Jesus to go fish for people. Simon didn’t go into the deeper water alone, the other fisherman went with him. This huge haul of fish wasn’t a job that one man alone could bring into his boat, it required him to have partners in the mission.
In youth ministry, it is easy for us to look at the youth ministry around the corner, the youth ministry that has triple the students we have, or the other church in your denomination as someone you are competing with. Those other youth ministry leaders are your partners in bringing in that huge haul. They are your partners in spreading Jesus’ name across your city. Youth pastors, youth leaders, whatever your title you have been given…we have been given… the task of leading students and helping them grow in a relationship with Jesus. We have to remember we must provide ourselves with the opportunity to be invested into as well. That starts with the community that you have. That community must be built intentionally.
One of the biggest blessings in my ministry comes from the community I have with other youth leaders in our city. Whether it is coffee or lunch, my community provides an opportunity to connect, learn more about the stories of other youth leaders, their experiences, and youth ministry hacks. If you look in your corner and realize you do not have the right people, what should you do?
INVITE the people who encourage, motivate, and challenge you.
IGNORE the people who drag you down. (Yes, they need Jesus, but you can’t help anyone experience Jesus if you can’t help yourself first).
INITIATE the action. Yes, people are being influenced by you. But who are you being influenced by? Be intentional about developing your community.
It’s time to check your corner, who is in it?
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.