“If you want to build ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Antoine de Saint Exupery, “Make Me A Boat” (and found in “Summoned to Lead” by Leonard Sweet).
If you want to build a top-notch youth ministry, you MUST lead in this way. You must find others who are willing to lead, yes. But you must be able to lead in such a way that isn’t simply about task this task that, but about listening to their heart beat and dreams for why they do what they do.
In other words, listen.
Often times, the three greatest words of a youth ministry leader is: “I hear you.”
Adults who volunteer in a ministry program don’t simply want to be told what to do; they want to actively participate. They want to be heard.
If I’m leading a youth ministry and not taking time to listen to the dreams, visions, and desires of those around me, forget it. This ministry won’t be successful.
Are you listening to the voices around you? Are you telling them what to do or listening to their yearnings for the vast and endless sea of possibility?
It’s the greatest gift you can give your volunteer leaders.