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GUEST POST: Don’t Dump Responsibility, Empower Leaders

 —  November 21, 2012 — 1 Comment

Most youth workers I know have one thing in common…they try to do too much. Many of us are perfectionists. Many leaders care so much that they give too much. Many leaders don’t know how to recruit. Sometimes we just reach teens quickly and we seem to never be able to catch up.

I have been that guy trying to do everything. I finally started asking for help but I made a critical mistake. I started dumping responsibility on people who were willing instead of looking for leaders who could partner with me in ministry. When you dump responsibility you look for a willing person and give them stuff to do that you don’t want to mess with. You basically ask them to do the work and leave you alone so you can do other things. Sure, it helps for the short term but when they have other things to do they will hand you back the responsibility. I leaned in the process I needed sharp leaders who would partner with me in ministry so they understood the why behind the what! Here are four kinds of leaders we need to be empowering…

  • Small Group Leaders / these are leaders who will invest in teens intentionally like you wish you could do for every teen. They will mentor, guide, clarify, instruct, encourage, and pray for teens on a weekly basis. These leaders are extensions of you doing youth ministry and they are the most important partners you will have.
  • Detail Leaders /  these are leaders who are gifted administratively and can help you by talking care of the details that bog us down on a weekly basis. These leaders can organize, delegate, and systematize but they may not be great with teens. Let them thrive in the detail so you can lead the big picture!
  • Presence Leaders / these are leaders who care for teens but may not be ready to lead a small group. They just want to serve teens and help where needed when they are available. They love teens and they love your ministry but they have other things that pull them away from leading a small group. Let them run a cafe, work the parking lot, or help run games during programing.
  • Tech Leaders / these are leaders who love the digital side of what we do but may not be good at other areas of student ministry! Let them make your environment look , feel, and sound better.

What are some “leader types” that you empowered and they made you and your ministry better? What keeps you from empowering leaders?

Michael Bayne is Family and Student Pastor at Grace Community Church, Clarksville TN. Follow him on Twitter at @michael_bayne and read more of his writing at www.michaelbayne.net

Josh Griffin

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One response to GUEST POST: Don’t Dump Responsibility, Empower Leaders

  1. I’ve been leading worship for 10 years now and I can honestly say that not a week goes by that I don’t learn something related to the post above. As a worship leader, I need to identify every different part that is played on the stage. Every person has their own element. Take them out of their element, and their strengths and abilities fall through the cracks. It doesn’t make for a rough service, but it could have gone smoother. Sometimes as a leader or staff member we think the service went flawless. But like a duck on a pond, the surface seems like things are going smooth while under the water or behind the scenes things are paddling like crazy just to stay afloat and move the service along. Knowing the positions, personalities and responsibilities are crucial to understanding how to manage and mentor them.
    Here are some important positions i’ve noticed that need to be mentored and delegated.

    LEAD WORSHIPERS – Those who are anointed with a gift to communicate with the congregation and bring them into a meeting place with God. These are people who consistently carry a walk with God. If you ask them what God is doing in them or what God has shown them recently, they always have and answer. As a leader, you CANNOT take people where you have never been. Too often we put people who are talented musicians and great organizers in this position thinking they are capable of leading God’s people into his presence and they end up never being able to connect with the congregation on a deep level.

    MUSICAL GURU – These are those who excel in their instrument, or voice, or both. They are the ones that take note of musical corrections that need made. They hold the band together while everyone is doing their own part. They are also technical and capable of making changes when necessary. These people are often mistaken for Lead Worshipers.

    SOUND TECHIES – People who enjoy the technical / digital side. Typically these people enjoy taking responsibility of how things sound. They might need some guidance to the sound i’m looking for, but their possessive. Their personality is usually strong because it keeps them focussed. Sometimes these people even play an instrument themselves.

    SUPPORT to the Lead Worshiper – There is always someone that is in some way connected to the Lead Worshiper through encouragement. This person gives a word of confidence so the Lead Worshiper can speak and sing with power and authority!

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