Friday, January 15, 2010

The wrong stuff?

I talk to youth pastors a lot about trusting your instinct and knowing what it means to run a good program. Although tons of peeps that I talk to nowadays think that program is dead and that we need to move in a different direction, I am a firm believer that if you run a bad program then you are going to have a hard time achieving a successful youth program. And I know that this is very subjective, but most philosophy is; I think anyway. Just remember that in all of your infinite, God-given wisdom, you could actually be wrong ever now and again. I know, I know, crazy but true.

I know that you have the pulse of your group and that you prolly do a great job in your ministry. I hope that you are giving tons of time to your students, but more to the peeps that put time into them on a daily basis. You know, the leaders in your ministry. The volunteers that give up a bunch of their free time to spend putting into the youth of today, building into the leaders of tomorrow. And since they are with the students so much, you need to listen to your volunteer staff.

If you are like many of the pastors I chill with, you have a full plate. There are things in your schedule that make your ministry difficult to keep up with and you need all the help you can get. And this is why the input you get from your staff is so important. When one of my peeps would come up to me to discuss an issue that s/he felt was important, in my younger days I would listen, but not really. This was the absolute worst thing I could have done. Just because I was the guy with the title did not make me the one with the best ideas all of the time. Yes, I think I had a pretty good idea of what needed to be done and I was very intuitive, but the stuff that was brought to my attention from others was equally important.

Had I listened to the suggestions of my staff back then I would have saved myself a lot of time. I had to learn to listen. Timing issues, themes, concerns, series suggestions, program glitches; these were all problems that I faced on a weekly basis and could have used the help that was right in front of me. Are you listening to your staff? Do you value their input? There are peeps that know ministry as well and many even better than you. They are there to help. They want the youth program to succeed just as much as you do. Listen to them, you would be wise to add their counsel to your decision-making process.

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