Structuring For Success

The old model said the youth pastor had to do it all.

Every form of spiritual guidance MUST come from the youth pastor. After all, they are the ones with the title ‘pastor.’ Shouldn’t they have life cornered?

Thankfully the old is gone. It’s unmanageable anyways.

Moses was working the old model for too long, trying to help every one with every problem, every day. A demand that is never truly satisfied. He received the best advice from his father-in-law, Jethro in Exodus 18: “Structure for success! Don’t do it all yourself, you’ll burn out. Multiply your efforts by raising up leaders to do the work” (I’m paraphrasing of course).

Isn’t that our call as youth pastors in Ephesians 4? We are to equip God’s people to do His work, not do it all for them.

If we want to be successful youth pastors, let’s be super intentional with one thing: raising up leaders.

Let’s build the ministry beyond us, our tenure and our personality. Let’s make disciples who actually make disciples. Let’s structure for success.

Here are some thoughts on raising up youth leaders:

  1. Create a clear pipeline for leadership development.

  2. Let your leaders disciple teens, while you disciple your leaders.

  3. Create a warm community among your leadership team by incorporating occasional hang out nights and training times.

  4. Bring your leadership team to Elements in January.

  5. Give your leadership team a voice to speak into your ministry.

  6. Communicate, communicate and then communicate some more. Make sure your leaders are all on the same page. Cast vision, and talk through expectations frequently, giving them the tools they need to accomplish what has been asked of them.

  7. If you don’t have any adult leaders, start developing your students today to be leaders for you tomorrow. Leadership development is a marathon, not a sprint.

What are some other things you’ve found helpful in raising up leaders?

Check out this interview we did with James Clarence from First Assembly in Calgary to get some fresh ideas on how to do Leadership Development well.

For the full, in-depth interview, subscribe to the ABNWT Youth Podcast on iTunes.