Day 2 was packed with great information and encouragement at the Youth Ministry Leadership Exchange. On top of change, we also talked about our teams and the importance of equipping and empowering them in order to set them up for success. Student ministry is much larger than just me, the lead youth worker. We need a strong team to reach more students and families.
Kara Powell, Clay Scroggins, Lee Jenkins, Steven Argue, and Katie Edwards all had amazing things to say about on this topic. As I’ve done with the other topics, the main pieces of their talks are included below.
Kara Powell started off by asking the following question: “What if we evaluated our churches based on mission, not attendance?” She went on to say, “Let’s measure the actual impact, not a person’s ability to sit in a chair fir 75 minutes,” before she suggested several other things we could measure to create a better report card:
- Actual kids (names, not just numbers)
- Stories of life change.
- Activities of kids.
- Activities of volunteer leaders.
Clay Scroggins, then, talked all about the idea of challenging up. He even provided a game plan for us as we do that.
- DON’T begin by advising!
- Advocate for your boss.
- Ask as many questions as possible.
- Acknowledge their thoughts & feelings.
- Advise a solution.
- We only get the opportunity to advise when we’ve went through the process.
Lee Jenkins continued on the topic of teamwork by speaking about unity. He stated, “Your dream won’t work unless your team will work,” and, “It takes teamwork to make the dream work.” After looking at Psalm 133:1-3, and sharing that unity is not sameness or conformity, but a oneness of purpose, Lee spoke on four powerful benefits of unity.
- Unity costs you something. (Psalm 133:2)
- Unity starts from the top. (Psalm 133:2)
- Unity is contagious. (Psalm 133:3)
- Unity is where God blesses. (Psalm 133:3)
Steve Argue spoke on the concept of leading Millennials on our team, which was honestly one of the best messages I’ve ever heard about Millennials! He even talked about how when we use that word, we don’t often mean the entire generation. Instead, we’re usually talking about emerging adults, who are people between 18 and 29, who have both a ton of great opportunities and great tensions. Those in their 20s should experience, what Steve calls, a “decade of investment.” Then he shared two important thoughts about this population.
- They are on a spiritual quest that will mess with your own faith.
- Intellectual, emotional, relational.
- Expressing doubt has relational consequences.
- Faith + Doubt are contagious.
- They are searching for their voice [that can change the world].
- Fragile inner dependence.
- They need mentoring.
He finished by issuing two important points to the emerging adult leaders in the room:
- Your spiritual quest is real.
- Your voice matters.
Katie Edwards wrapped up the teamwork sessions by sharing five questions she asks herself all the time to make sure she is preparing her team well. These are the same ones she shared with us back at DYM 100 in September of last year, but I’ll share them again here.
- Do our volunteers understand what we are about?
- Do our volunteers understand our audience?
- Do our volunteers understand their ministry role?
- Do our volunteers feel equipped for their role?
- Do our volunteers feel cared for and encouraged?
Over the years, I’ve learned that teams are so incredibly important to what we do in student ministry. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without my team. Unfortunately, though, churches are not always great at building, equipping, and empowering teams. We can change it, though!
What are you doing to help your team? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what is working well. Be sure to share them in the comment section!