Over and over I listen to youth workers who are so frustrated at their senior pastor, supervisor, and parents because they just don't seem to understand or respect their leadership. The more I listen to my friends, the more I am convinced that the reason is simply, leadership is not the primary, in fact its not even in the top 10 of values, skills, or even responsibility of a youth worker.
Unfortunately many youth workers are young, educated, and look up to strong leaders who write extensively about leadership. But these authors and pastors are LEAD pastors. Crazy, they are the leaders of their churches and organizations. Even in their churches they hire people to FOLLOW THEIR LEADERSHIP. In fact, most youth workers in those larger churches lead significantly less then those youth workers in smaller churches. They fully get who the leader is and where they sit in the org chart.
The truth is that youth ministry is near the bottom of the org chart in most churches. It is an for many of us, an entry level position.
Isn't it strange that we put on this gigantic mantle of leadership and significance to an entry level position where the youngest and least experienced pastors do their work?
I am in no way belittling the work that youth workers do. I am a youth worker and have been one for a long time. I am simply offering a small correction. Leadership is not what we are called to do. We are called to love students and help them love Jesus. We take our marching orders from our lead pastors and our stance towards parents is one of service. Yes we may lead a game, give a talk, and LEAD a small group, but whatever leadership we have is tempered by fulfilling the leadership goals and dreams of our LEAD pastor.
And as a side note; don't be too quick to blow off your old, tired, lame, lead pastor and their LEADERSHIP. They actually may know more than you think and you would benefit by submitting to their leadership. And if you can't, then it is time for you to leave and work for a LEADER you can submit to.
Youth ministry is not the place where young bucks LEAD! It is the place where people are called to serve and care for a particular niche within the church body. We are a small part of the larger church team and in this position we submit to our LEAD pastor, SERVE our parents, and LOVE our students.
Just a thought :)