About 3 hours ago (at time of post) a major high school event for us just finished. 3 bands, 2 spoken word poets, 120 attenders, 13 adults serving & it was designed by two seniors in our ministry. They had an idea to do a benefit show with LEGIT, top notch, artists. They wanted & asked the artists to play for free. They asked for a $5 donation at the door by everyone who showed up. We pumped it to our high school ministry to invite their friends to be able to give them a first step contact with their church.
The two guys ROCKED their role!! They were organized, they knew what needed to be done, they treated the night with a ton of respect, they cared about the people who walked in the door & they modeled to the rest of their peers what leadership can look like. They both have a great understanding of what ministry is and what it should be about!
Too often we don't let students take a more direct role in leading. We (being youth pastors) can be too worried about the event 'failing' or not going the way it's supposed to go. We might be concerned that those leading don't treat it with enough respect or effort. We can get worried what message or image will be spread about the ministry or even ourselves if teens lead in a majority. I got 3 reasons I try to let students take the lead as often as possible;
1- When they show themselves trustworthy. The students I hand leadership opportunities over to are the ones who have shown me you can trust them with little & big things. They are the ones who serve well, work hard & take what ministry is seriously. They show me that I can depend on them.
2- When I've spent time with students. Those students who want to take leadership over an area of ministry & voice that to me I then spend time with them, a lot of time. I hear their hearts, talk with them about life as well as what God seems to be placing on their hearts.
3- We pray about it and let God open doors. It is very easy to think we can try to guide leadership. But really what I want to see happen is God confirm and guide that student & myself to a place where the obvious happens. Where you can't ignore that some serious leadership steps or actions should be taken.
Nights like tonight remind why there is so much joy in seeing students come to a place where they think about the Kingdom & how they can be part of being used by God to reach others for Jesus. I am grateful that tonight happened because of the two young men who poured so much into the event. I am thankful for the new students who stepped foot into a church for the first time tonight because of this event. I am also thankful for the long term Kingdom work that God's Spirit is doing in and around our high school ministry!
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