Category: Incoherent Ramblings

In the Trenches, Incoherent Ramblings

The Father-Leader Paradox

The Father-Leader Paradox
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I’m less than a month away from a milestone in my life: my oldest daughter is getting ready to move into the youth ministry.

I don’t know if you’ve thought about the dynamic of being a parent/youth minister, but I have been contemplating it pretty heavily over the past month or two. Here are five wishes I have for my daughter (and for any kid who joins us) as she moves into the youth ministry:

  1. I pray she finds an adult who will pour into and invest in her, that’s not me. I teach her at home. I correct her at home. I lead her at home. I try to speak life into her at home. She needs someone else to do those things at church. She needs an adult who will see her potential, and try to draw it out, working in concert with me as her father.
  2. I pray she keeps a heart willing to serve. As of right now, I don’t have to force her to do things, or at least not many things. She loves to serve. She is happy to go to the church and help with random odd jobs. I hope that never goes away.
  3. I pray she finds friends who build her up, and whom she can build up. Going to school, she may not always be surrounded by positive influences. I hope the other students in the youth ministry pour into and invest in her, and allow her to do the same, regardless of age gap.
  4. I pray she loves being involved. The combination of the three things above carries the potential for her to have a desire and passion to show up. I hope as she progresses through the ministry, that we are able to offer opportunities that keep her emotionally and mentally engaged, and that allow her to grow in her relationship with God.
  5. Finally, I pray that she will grow closer to God as a result of the time she spends in the youth ministry. After all, if I’m scheduling fun activities and not pointing kids to Christ, then I’m just an entertainer.

Now, look back over that list. There are some of those that I, as her youth minister, can influence. That’s why leadership development is so important to me. I want students aware and pouring into other students. I want adults loving on students. I want to provide opportunities to serve, and to create an atmosphere where students are not simply entertained, but challenged.

But I can’t do it alone. You can’t do it alone. We can’t do it alone. Bring people into the leadership discussion in your life. Expand your influence and watch growth happen.

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Incoherent Ramblings

The Leadership Invitation

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When I was a 8th grader, my youth minister had a conversation with me that helped set me on a path for the duration of my high school career.

I went to a small school and a small town church, so there weren’t a plethora of students in our youth ministry. As an 8th grader, there were some strong seniors and a junior, but a gap between the junior and my class.

My youth minister sat me down and said the next year I was going to be one of the leaders, along with a couple of classmates.

And the invitation to leadership altered the next four years. It opened my eyes to opportunities all around me.

There’s someone around you who is waiting for an invitation to leadership. Maybe they haven’t been asked to step up. Maybe they haven’t seen the need to step up.

The invitation makes all the difference in the world. Who can you ask?

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Incoherent Ramblings, Leadership Journey

Leadership & Relationship

Leadership & relationship
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This morning I found a journal that was given to me almost 17 years ago. In it were notes written from youth group members of my home church. The words were encouraging, hopeful (stay in touch!), and affirming, even 17 years later.

As I was reading their words, I was reminded of something: the most impactful leadership rarely happens outside of relationship.

Reading people who write (or blog) about leadership is imperative to leadership development, but the most impactful leadership happens in relationship.

I have a regular habit of watching a video on leadership development at the beginning of each work day, but my life is impacted more by personal relationships.

Our greatest leadership impact is to those whom we lead relationally. When we invest in those around us, our influence begins to grow exponentially. The mistakes we make, the victories we experience, and the joys we experience grow because of the one on one relationship.

But the relationship has to start somewhere.

How are you doing at developing relationships? Are you listening to people, or simply waiting for a chance to speak up? Do you care for those around you, or are they simply a means to an end?

The words I read this morning reminded me–those words came as a result of relationship. Not because of my “great” ability to lead, my wisdom, or my extreme good looks. The impact that was made blossomed out of relationship.

How are you investing in those around you? Is there something that needs to change? Is there something you’re doing that needs to be duplicated? Make a difference today, build a relationship.

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Incoherent Ramblings

Mindset Makes the Difference

Mindset Makes the Difference
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Sometimes, I think perspective is a super power.

And by perspective, I mean mindset. How we choose to view a situation.

What is more disarming in a tense situation than admitting or realizing things aren’t as bad as they may feel in the moment?

Look back at a time where you overreacted to a situation in the moment. How would things have changed if you had taken a breath and allowed your perspective to shift?

I have been taking kids to camp for 16 summers. Over that time, I’ve learned there are some things that are not worth stressing about. Messy bunks all get packed up at the end of the week, but little steps taken the night before go a long way.

My mindset has changed over time. Some things have become less important, while other things have become more important.

When we approach a situation filled with change, we have a choice to make. Are we going to mourn the change, or are we going to accept that change always happens, and agree to move forward in a healthy way?

I heard a quote this week that went like this:

Change is inevitable. Progress is not. Focus on progress and stop worrying about change.

Charles Lee

Focusing on progress instead of worrying about change is a mindset shift. It’s choosing what is more important and focusing on things we can influence.

You have the opportunity to spread a sense of peace to those around by the way you view and talk about a situation.

Your mindset will influence the room.

My question for you is this: are you going to allow your mindset to make your situation better or worse? Are you going to engage the opportunity, or withdraw because it’s a challenge? Are you going to focus on change, or on progress?

Ultimately, you decide. Your mindset makes the difference.

Grab your superhero cape. Change your mindset. Change the world.

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Incoherent Ramblings

Learn and Grow

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Short post today, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about mistakes and mishaps. I blog on this regularly, partly because it’s a fear of mine.

I fear mistakes. I fear a mistake means I’m not good enough. I fear a mistake means I’m not valuable.

Ultimately, I don’t fear failure. I fear surrendering to failure. Until I learn to reframe my fear, I will never be able to grow.

Great leaders know failure is part of life. So take that step today. Have that conversation that may not go your way. Learn from it and grow.

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