Youth Ministry Leadership: Who Do You Trust?

Who do you trust?

Recently I was asked to go on a mission trip to Guatemala with a team of adults. The cool thing about this experience is that its being led by our Senior Pastor, and he views this as an opportunity to disciple 20 or so people for a few months leading up to the trip. He is a strong leader who also has a strong heart, so I was excited to glean any insights I could from him in this process!

We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago and we were discussing a concept in the book “The Tale of Three Kings” by Gene Edwards. It brought us into a discussion about leadership, and how we can lead by faith (and trusting God) like David, or we could lead based on the “crowd”, like Saul, and what direction the crowd going. That REALLY caught my attention! I started to think about my own flaws as a leader who sometimes leads out of insecurities, and what effect that might have on the decisions I make as a Youth Pastor.

Trust Gods Hand

That’s a difficult question to answer: In what ways have I listened to what the crowd wants, instead of what God wants?

When it comes to working with students, there are a TON of pressures and different people in your ear telling you how to do your job; it could be parents, students, volunteers, co-workers, friends, critics, and plenty more! The fear I have is that sometimes I want to please everybody! But with the demands coming in all different directions, I know that its not easy to do that, probably impossible to please everyone, and I may be losing myself in the process. Have you ever felt like that?

The problem is that we can spend so much time trying to make everyone else happy and not to ruffle any feathers, that we can forget to pray and think about what’s best for moving students towards a relationship with Jesus.

The challenge I have been making for myself is this: whenever I’m faced with any sort of youth ministry dilemma about philosophy, discipleship, calendar planning, or others, I’m going to first consult God to see if He has a direction, or see where He may be telling us to STOP a certain part of our ministry. From there, I’m going to trust my instincts & training on the matter. And also, I do want to consult those who are close to me who can give me good feedback and thoughts. But my goal is not to be controlled by the crowd. Yes, I will listen to every thought/complaint/comment in a respectful manner, but I cannot continue to be ruled by those things.

Who do you trust? What voices or people are getting your attention?


photo credit: via