Leadership in itself can be a stick situation. The temptation is to always think someone else is going to step up, but a strong leader is able to realize when the situation calls for someone to step up who wouldn’t normally be expected to do so.
Think of it like this: when i was a freshman in high school, i was one of the oldest kids in the ministry. As a result, my attitude toward how old a teenager has to be to lead has been altered.
The temptation in youth ministry is to wait until a student is a junior or a senior to give them leadership responsibilities, because they’re older and more mature by that time. And that makes sense.
For me, however, I want a kid who is willing to step up and make a difference, regardless of age. Sometimes this means we have 8th graders on our leadership team, other times it means we have mostly high school.
Part of my role, as a leader who seeks to develop other leaders, leads me to encourage younger students to step up to a role they may not think they fit.
The same idea applies to you: you are going to be presented with opportunities to step into a position for which you may not think you are ready. Too often, however, leadership opportunities arise because we are willing, not because we are ready.
Are you willing to step up? What situation are you facing that feels like you’re on the edge of a cliff trying to build the courage to jump? What’s holding you back? What fear do you need to give up? Why have you not given your fear up yet?
A couple weeks ago we were on the back end of our youth room remodel, and our deadline (Wednesday night) was approaching fast. I was spending the majority of my time that week trying to rearrange, clean up, and reassemble the room. I had both of my daughters with me to help, but that was not working the way I hoped.
Then, a light bulb came on. As my oldest daughter was asking what she needed to do next, I did something I have not done yet: I asked her to answer the first 2 questions (Click here for the explanation of the 3 questions). I helped her as she looked around the room to see what needed to be done, and then helped her see what she could do.
Now, I have said before that I do not sit my daughters down and make them listen to me lecture on the 3 Questions, but earlier this summer I did let my oldest sit in one of my talks on them. She was excited about the idea of it, so our conversation in the youth room was not out of place.
What happened next was great. We were able to accomplish more because she was not interrupting me every time she finished a task. She was learning to trust herself and ask the questions, and I was encouraging her along the way.
The 3 Questions are simple. Some people take to them naturally. Others, it takes a little more effort, but it can happen. The key is in the repetition, the redundancy.
If you are trying to learn to ask the 3 questions personally, hang in there. It takes time, but it can make all the difference in the world.
If you are trying to teach the 3 questions, stick with it. When someone embraces the possibilities, the results are amazing. It will take time, but push through and see what happens.
I’m cheering for you and your leadership today.
Well, this week is just going to be a little different altogether.
On Tuesday, I posted about my oldest daughter turning 11.
Today, I would like to share a few posts whose concepts and ideas have crossed my mind this week, so get ready for a few links.
But before the links, I know the majority of you have been faithful readers, joining my journey somewhere along the way, and for that I am so grateful. But, can I ask a favor? Would you mind taking a moment today and sharing one of the posts I’ve written that has been beneficial to you? Share on your social platform of choice, or even just emailing a link to someone you think might be encouraged by something I’ve written. Thank you for walking this journey with me.
Now, on to a few links.
Don’t Let Someone’s Character Surprise You – I constantly have to remind myself of this principle, that people will consistently behave within their character. Check it out.
The Horizon of Possibility – This is one of my favorites. A leader looks at what’s ahead and sees what the future could become.
Be Careful Who Speaks Into Your Life – The people around us who have influence over us make a significant difference. Guard whose advice you are taking to heart.
Lessons from the Farm part 1 and part 2 – I enjoy my Lessons from the Farm series the most (and the traffic for those posts show that other people do too!). These two posts deal with the difference between someone who is an owner and someone who is a hired hand.
Once again, thank you for spending time caring about your own leadership journey. I hope you’ll click over to one or two of these, even if you think you know what they say, and be refreshed by one or two of the thoughts.
Honestly, I do not know if today’s leadership lesson is a leadership lesson, or just a life lesson, but seeing how you’re both a leader AND alive, let’s dive in anyway.
Ask for help.
There’s something wired inside most of us that makes us dread asking for help. We think it’s an ego shot, or we think it makes us look weak. The reality, however, is asking for help means we are incapable of doing things all by ourselves.
There are a couple of reasons to ask for help:
The bottom line today: we accomplish more together than we do alone. Ask for help. Your leadership influence will grow as a result.
As I mentioned last week, I had the opportunity to direct a leadership camp. The general structure of that leadership camp looks like this: a combination of leadership instruction, relationship investing, and real life leadership experience.
The real life leadership experience comes in the form of leading rec for the camp each day. We had 12 kids who stepped up and did an incredible job all week.
The final day ended with a massive color war. Every kid and sponsor at camp had the opportunity to get a packet of color powder and participate in a massive color battle. It was quite amusing to watch from a distance.
Our leadership principle today, however, comes not from the color war, but from afterwards. We had run some relays prior to the color war, and our supplies were still out. After the commotion had almost completely died down, I saw one of the boys from the leadership camp, covered in a myriad of color powder, walking to the relay stations and picking up supplies.
I never specifically told him we needed to pick up supplies. He did not come to ask if there was anything that needed to be done. He was able to assess the situation and decide what he should do next.
As a result of his picking up supplies, a few other kids saw it and started doing the same. He created a movement simply with his actions.
As a leader, sometimes we need to be reminded that even though we may look like a package of skittles exploded on us, there’s still work to be done.
Take a moment today. Look around and ask yourself what needs to be done, then do it. If possible, invite someone to join you for the task. But never be afraid to step up to take care of that which needs to be done.