One of my favrit parts of visiting midweek programs of various church youth groups is to watch how youth pastors run their ministry. it is usually a bunch of madness and it always seems that most of them are behind schedule, missing stuff, understaffed, etc. this is a continual reminder that the ministry animal is one that is hard to tame. the madness never really subsided over the years but we began to learn how to harness it. and you must learn to do this if you are going to be effective and add value to peeps on a large scale and for the long haul. People watch the way that you carry yourself and are constantly evaluating your passion and ability to do ministry.
Cheryl Skeen, general manager of Embassy Suites, says, "Sharing your passion for excellence is critical for effective leadership. Employees should know that excellence is the expectation and not the exception. (They) need to understand that we have to be better than the rest in order to succeed." now, if you are like most other youth pastors you do not have the luxury of employees. you are most likely surrounded by peeps who volunteer tons of time, personal time, that they could be giving somewhere else. and to think that you should not have to motivate - because after all, they should be volunteering time for God and not you - is not going to get you very far. yes, they are not doing it for you, but for God. yes, they should give out of the goodness of their dumb ol’ hearts. but if they do not believe in you and the passion that you have for the ministry, if they do not think that you are the leader to take the group to the next level, then they will eventually move on. and i applaud them for this.
you have to inspire. it is your job as the leader. you are not allowed to have a bad day... well, in front of them anyway. your bad days and complaining needs to be done on your own time and to the ones who mentor you. and if you are good about choosing your volunteer leaders then you will have less bad days. George Balanchine said, “I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who have to dance.” how true this is in ministry. we have all convinced someone to do ministry with us because we needed an extra leader, body, parking lot person, snack bar worker, whatever. and it always comes back to bite you in the butt when you have peeps who do not want to be there. but within this there is a fine line.
some peeps do not know that want to do ministry until you help them. for instance, there was a dad in our ministry who loved hanging out with the staff and the kids. he just thought he was too old and could not make an impact. i knew that he could. i inquired of him from other parents and adults who knew him and his heart. he just needed a little help knowing that he could be that guy. i could not convince him to chill in a group of guys, so i asked if he could do some stuff in the parking lot and help me with some of the games and stuff like that. he agreed. the guys was an instant favrit of the kids and it was not long after that we put him in a group where he should have been.
Honest Abe once said, “I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.” find the peeps who you think will make a difference and start to put time into them. as you do it more often you will make less mistakes. and the more you inquire of those smarter than you, it will speed up the process. you know what you are passionate about. put the time in and focus on the right stuff. what will peeps say about you and the way you run your ministry after you are out of the picture and long gone?