The Essential Leadership Qualities Of Effective Youth Ministry Veterans

Today we continue our series looking at leadership in youth ministry. If you and I want to be successful in youth ministry and have a lasting impact, there are some key qualities we should be aware of and strive for. Take a look:

Youth Ministry Essential Leader

Do you recall the story in Genesis 12 of “Abrams Call” by the Lord? God appears and tells him,  “Leave here and go to the place I take you.”   In my own head I have envisioned Abram packing up all of his belongings and family, then wandering around the desert until the Lord ambiguously shouts,  “STOP!”

In this interpretation of the story, I miss a couple of key ideas.  Abram held some great leadership qualities:

  • Humility:  He was willing to admit at 75 years old he needed a change.
  • Faithfulness:  He packed up everything an followed the Lord, no matter what.
  • Integrity:  Abram struggled with this one from time to time.  What is important was his willingness to always refocus back on the Lord and his plan.
  • A clear vision: We are told in verse 5 they set out for the land of Canaan.  He knew exactly where he was headed.

As I contemplate this thought it occurs to me that the ministry leader veterans I respect most have these same qualities.   While I admire those who can strategize and plan, the ones that exemplify this heart of this type of servant leader are the ones who I want to follow and emanate.

Eventually Abram would become Abraham.  It was in this moment He came to understand truly the depth of the calling on His life.    His calling became inspirational.  Beyond, just holding a set of qualities, in the same way my ministry veteran mentors have taught me to lead by asking these questions:

  1. What is the vision God has given you? We learn like Abram to answer this question in three ways: our family,  our ministry,  our own life.
  2. Will you dictate or lead? Dictators sit on a throne, telling everyone else what they should do for them.  Leaders get down with the people, guiding them toward the vision the Lord has cast.
  3. Have you shared where you are going? We can say the goal is students to become “Fully devoted followers of Christ.”   I had a pastor who asked me,  “Well,  what does that mean?”  Be specific on what you are hoping the Lord will do in a student, share it with your team.  Constantly. What are the goals? Where is this promised land for our ministry? 

The names of pastors, mentors and ministry leaders come to mind as I ponder the leadership lessons most vital.  Above all an unwavering love for the Lord is what impresses me most.  Those who have had their eye on WHO He is, are the ones I my heart is most open to. As Abraham a faith like this caused a willingness to sacrifice his one and only son.  My prayer is that I might be willing to learn and grow from these and others always.

Who are the leaders who have impacted you? What are their stand out qualities?



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