Monday, June 29, 2009

The X Commandments of youth ministry leadership

With Challenge Camp quickly approaching and my imminent start at a new church, I've had youth ministry on the brain. So... with an hour wait at Royal North Shore whilst my Dad was being discharged and a 90 minute wait with Ange at the medical centre... i thought this up.

The Ten Commandments of Youth Ministry Leadership...

WARNING: I have broken each of the following... So as one who has failed...

I - Love Jesus - If you don't love God, then you're wasting your time. Worse, if you attempt to fake following Jesus, you will be found out. Eventually the kids will catch on that you're life doesn't match what you teach. Don't be a hypocrite.

II - Love and Care for the Kids - Be open and genuinely interested in those you have been given the privilege to lead. Share with them your experiences and ensure that the youngsters are safe in your care. Guard them spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally and relationally from any dangers... either from outsiders, yourself or others in the group.

III - Be the Adult - It may sound obvious, but you are the responsible one. You, believe it or not, ARE the leader. It may mean that you feel like the killjoy at times, that great jokes go unspoken and that the amazing prank only happens in your mind... But be the adult, not the teen.

IV - Lead by Example - You can't take others where you yourself haven't been or aren't prepared to go. Lead from the front. If you want kids to put on shoes, then wear them yourself. If you want them to listen, then do it yourself first. Sometimes this will mean that you need to go outside of your comfort zone and take the first step, but that's ok.

V - Be Aware of your Co-leader - If you have the blessing to have a co-leader, use it wisely! Be aware of their strengths and limitations. Be aware of their fluctuating energy levels and the things that irritate them. Support one another. Work as a team (yes, this means communication!). Utilise each others gifts. Show your co-leader that you are thankful that they are there!

VI - Know what's going on - Know the program. Know where you and your kids need to be. Be on time. Know what is required prior and during the activities that you're all involved in. If you don't know the answers follow the next commandment...

VII - Ask for Help - There is no such thing as a super-leader. Don't be so proud that you will choose to make an easily avoidable mistake. Learn from others experience. Ask advice from those who have gone through similar experiences and actually listen.

VIII - Travel in a Pack - In each group there will the enthusiastic kids and the slothful kids. One teenager will always want to rush ahead and one will move at snails pace. Aim to have as little gap between speedy teen and slow-poke youth.
IX - Complain Up - If you have issues, do something about it that will move towards a solution. Don't let bitterness, anger or miscommunication fester. Avoid gossip at all cost.

X - Have Fun and Create Memories- Despite the imposing nature of much of the above points, take time to smile. Create times to laugh. God's people should not be known as stick-in-the-mud's. Do things that are a little crazy. Climb a tree. Have a food fight. Spend time together and joke will arise. Enjoy hanging with your kids... Usually the most teachable moments are the ones that are unplanned.


Liam said...


Graham said...

Told you i had the yarn all worked out for camp...