Doug Fields not only leads Download Youth Ministry, but he has been a youth pastor for many years. At Youth Ministry Exchange 2020, he spoke about the importance of setting up others to lead.

Here are my notes from his talk:

  • As a child, playing basketball… I struggled to leave the court. Over time, I learned the idea of teamwork and realized the importance of taking a breather. 
  • I’m here to play so that you can keep playing.
  • But I’m young and I want to play! Yeah, I get it…
  • What do you wish you knew when you first started in youth ministry? I wish that I knew that I’m here to play so you can keep playing.
  • A good youth pastor plays just good enough to set up their team of volunteers to play well.
  • The health of our youth ministries are not dependent upon us and our gifts.
  • The foundation of a healthy youth ministry is built on a team of caring, faithful, training adults who love Jesus and like teenagers.
  • The primary job of a youth ministry point person revolves around serving volunteers so they can serve young people.
  • Equip God’s people for works for service. (Ephesians 4:12)
  • Am I equipping my volunteers to fill a spot or setting them up to succeed as a leader?
  • Your job is to prepare volunteers to ultimately do your job. That’s what a good leader does.
  • 2 things we need in order to lead like this:
    • Intentional shift in your thinking: From short-term to long-term. 
      • Will that volunteer still be loving students after I’m gone? 
      • Your volunteers aren’t there to help you do ministry; they are your ministry.
    • Inspirational humility: 
      • Those who are following your lead are looking for inspiration based in humility.
      • Your role is to equip God’s people for works of service.
  • Consider becoming the type of leader who shows up like this so others can play well.

Have you been able to take this approach in your leadership? How are you setting up others to lead? What are some of the obstacles that prevent you from fully leading like this?

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