Leadership in youth ministry, part II

Yesterday we talked about several good youth ministry leadership resources. Here are three more good essays to add to that list, courtesy of Youth Specialties:

  • Are you a “side-door leader”? You don’t need to be a member of the church staff to be an effective leader in your congregation. Kent Clayton talks about the importance of “unofficial” leadership:

    Side-door leaders are people who have influence in ministry settings without (necessarily) having an official role as leader; real leaders are those who wield power, regardless of position. Leadership is changing—in the postmodern milieu, people value following those worth being followed over pursuing those with the right titles. Structures and systems no longer hold the validity they once did. Sometimes, the real authority lies with the parents, the long-term youth volunteers, and even the students who shape the culture of a ministry’s leadership. Paid staff and youth coordinators aren’t necessarily part of that mix. In the real world, leaders are recognized, not appointed. Side-door leaders know how to weave influence without storming the main gates of a board, committee, session, or staff hierarchy.

  • Youth leaders, have you given up on the prospect of getting your middle-school students to be spiritual leaders for their peers? Cliff Olson writes about the difficult but not impossible tasks of cultivating middle-school leaders.
  • Does your ministry have a single leader directing all of its operations? The last several decades have shown that by organizing your youth or church ministry into gift-based leadership teams, rather than following the traditional hierarchical model of leadership, you can expand your reach.

Take a read through and see if any of these ideas are applicable to your ministry!

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