Friday, April 3, 2015

Why you need leaders beyond their mid-twenties

Whilst I've written about the perceived expiry date of volunteer leaders, this must be balanced by the freedom that leaders don't have to leave unless they choose to.

This goes for youth ministers as well.
Arguably, even more so.

For, I've changed a lot since my early-twenties.

A decade ago, in many ways, I was still a meathead.

But over the last ten years I've got married, moved out of home, worked at four churches, been mid-term unemployed, done a job I didn't enjoy, started serious study, finished my degree, had four cars, my Dad had cancer, my Mum had a triple bypass, saw my Dad die, struggled to fall pregnant, endured two miscarriages and became a father.

I've been besides people when they've experienced the loss of a parent, suffered the disappointment of miscarriage, celebrated marriages, experienced breakups, become parents, lost jobs, failed university, turned their lives over to Christ and decided to walk away form the church.

I truth, I couldn't have handled a lot of these situations when I was 18. Or 20. Or 23.

This is why it's tragic when youth ministers or volunteer leaders stop to "step aside" or "get a real job" in their mid twenties due to "their time being over."

If every leader - volunteer or otherwise - steps down once they hit their mid-twenties, then youth groups loose a lot of life experience.

Youth group kids won't see healthy, long-term, marriages which have gone through anything but the honeymoon years.

Youth group kids will only have leaders who are university students and those in entry level positions at their jobs.

Youth group kids will only have examples who are also living at home and, also, trying to work out a clear picture of what their future looks like.

In short, while younger leaders can be incredible, those in youth groups will be weakened by just having a mono-generational leadership team above them.

And, when a crisis hits, those who are meant to support them during their season will be less equipped to help because they have less life experience behind them.

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