Tuesday, May 22, 2012

5 Things I Love About My Youth Leadership Team

Behind every youth pastor, there's a team of awesome volunteers (and sometimes co-coordinators!) who help make things even more amazing! Tonight's new post is a little reflection about the qualities I am thankful for in my youth ministry team! Consider it a bit of a shout-out, but also think of this post as a list of things I think are super important to have as a part of any successful youth ministry team!

My amazing 2011-2012 Emmaus Youth Group leadership team! (From left to right) Laura Glendenning, myself, Angela Henderson, Alicia Fortier, Simon Pelletier, Laura Griffin. Gaby Szabo in absentia. Photo courtesy of Jillian Agustin

I have been so blessed this year with an amazingly wonderful team! I get the infinite pleasure of working alongside some of the lovely people ever, who are all my best friends! We have really connected and work really well together, and everyone is super dedicated to our ministry. Couldn't do it without you guys!

That brings me to #1! A youth ministry team should be tight! If there's no chemistry between the leaders, not only will things flow less smoothly, but the teens will really be able to tell and there will be a disconnect. If the leaders don't love eachother, how can they really encourage the teens to love one another and effectively build community with them?

When our leaders get together, we have tons of amazing conversations, lots of ridiculous rabbit trails and things always diverge into an onslaught of raucous laughter. At the same time, when things get serious, we are able to have a really great discussion and, although we can get a little ridiculous and goofy at times, we always manage to say everything that needs to be said. And that's #2 for me! A leadership team needs to be able to communicate with eachother about serious things and come to helpful conclusions but also be able to enjoy eachother's company and laugh together.

#3- the better the individual leaders' relationships with God are, the greater overall quality during those discussions and in the teachings each week. If you have a team of leaders who at least pursue deeper relationships with God, regardless of where everyone is at, there is an attitude of commitment to that and that really shows.

On the topic of attitude, #4! Youth leaders should be committed and have a good attitude about that! They should *want* to come in on Friday nights. If your volunteers feel like they're being forced to show up to meetings, they clearly aren't volunteering and shouldn't bother coming. We don't want lukewarm people in ministry, we want people who are passionate and excited about doing God's work and being a part of the team!

And that's #5- a team should be just that- a team! I can't have volunteers on my team who are insubordinate and argue with myself and Angela. If we're completely off base with something, it's definitely respectable to call us out on that. It's a different story, however, when a volunteer feels the need to take charge of the lesson and lead it in a completely inappropriate direction, and won't listen when we ask them to back down. We have had issues with this kind of thing in the past, but I am thankful that our current team are all really lovely and able to feel like part of the team without overstepping boundaries.

My team has been so incredibly faithful, and it's really cool watching them all grow together! It's been such a blessing working with a group so dedicated and amazing, and I look forward to many Friday nights to come with my fantastic youth ministry team.

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