Youth workers are just some of my favorite people on the planet.
They are fun, future focused, innovative, creative, adaptable, and curious. Youth workers are open to change and are so flexible to do something different if it'll promote growth and a better result. I mean, just this week I saw youth workers posting about a pineapple mayhem event, teenage self-harm, blacklight dodgeball, and talking with teenagers about suffering and political issues. UGH. The range of silly to serious is about as vast as you can imagine.
For just over 20 years I've been a youth worker in some way, shape, or form. I'm so proud to be among this tribe. Our tribe runs deep together. We're all about 2 degrees of separation from each other, which makes it so very fun.
Over the last several years, I've also been über committed to raise the water level of potency and effectiveness of youth workers. It's challenging to be a youth worker. We are on the cutting edge of the culture changes that affect teenagers before adults even know what's up. Youth workers need to be able to dance between leading 3 very different groups of people: parents, volunteers, and teenagers. Add in the layer of being a great team member and often youth workers (even the college and seminary trained ones!) struggle to navigate the waters of the job. I get it. I've been there.
I've learned a few things about leading in youth ministry over the years...
What got you here, won't get you there.
To get from here to there, you need new skills, practices, resources, and relationships. Doing what you've always done won't create the environment for transformation. Those changes - both internally and externally - are vital to be identified and led through well. Youth workers who live with great intentionality and discipline experience breakthroughs and growth all throughout their life on a regular basis.
Who you are determines what you do.
You can only fake it for so long. You can only live off of fumes and charisma for a short period of time. You can only sprint for short distances, not the long haul. Yet all too often, youth workers do those things as a way of life and expect it to work long-term. Proverbs is clear, out of the overflow of what's within comes out in our words and behaviors. Our bodies often reveal the state of our souls. Everything we do - on purpose or on accident - is a reflection of who we are. I believe we are created good and are designed to do so much good, yet it requires reflective, thoughtful self-leadership to live into our potential.
Leaders are learners... especially listeners + readers.
A wise mentor told me years ago that "Leadership begins with listening." I would add that it probably ends with listening, as well...and all the way in between. Leaders should be the most rabid learners of anyone!! If we are going to attempt to influence others' lives and souls, we need to constantly be reading, listening, and learning from voices who will take us to those new places. This element of self-leadership is imperative for healthy, forward moving leadership.
Leaders take responsibility for their life + leadership.
We are not victims to our circumstances or present realities. Your reality today doesn't dictate your reality for tomorrow. Your present doesn't have to be your future. You and only you are responsible for your life. Responsibility is really about your response meeting your abilities. How you connect those two elements together either creates an engaged, active life or a passive, reactive one.
Culture + context is everything.
What works in Northern Indiana may not work in Southern California or in Chicagoland...trust me, I've lived in all those places. But learning how to discern your culture and context enables you to lead and adapt youth ministry wherever you go. Growing in your ability to decode culture, adapt to your surroundings, and lead well within your strengths and commitments significantly increases your effectiveness as a youth worker.
Does this resonate with you? Are you ready to dig deep and experience a transformational 6 months of coaching? If so, you need....
Youth Worker's Mastermind Group:
leadership development with a youth ministry twist
+ spiked with spiritual formation
- Groups launching in September 2018 + January 2019
- 10 youth workers from coast to coast (per group)
- 6 months with 2 in-person meetings, 4 webinars, and 6 1on1 coaching calls with April (see more details below)
- Customized, specific action steps so you can break through barriers and achieve your goals
- Private online community for additional learning, interaction, support, and idea sharing between webinars
- Investment: $1000 plus 6 books and a couple assessments
You are worth the investment because you have one life to live to its fullest. Imagine what your life and leadership could look like with this kind of new skills, accountability, care, and resources. Take responsibility for your life, courageous youth worker. What can you gain by saying YES? You are loved.
THE RHYTHM TOWARD TRANSFORMATION.
- PRIOR TO MONTH 1: Take an assessment and read assigned book
- MONTH 1: 2-day working retreat in Orange County, CA with 1on1 Coaching
- MONTH 2: Webinar + 1on1 Coaching
- MONTH 3: Webinar + 1on1 Coaching + Guided Half-Day Personal Retreat
- MONTH 4: Webinar + 1on1 Coaching
- MONTH 5: Webinar + 1on1 Coaching + Guided Half-Day Personal Retreat
- MONTH 6: 2-day working retreat in Orange County, CA with 1on1 Coaching
The specific dates will be chosen by the participants. All webinars are 9am-12pm PST.