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From crane games to duck-duck goose, we were born to choose. Often these choices are based on what we find appealing, attractive, or intriguing. This becomes an interesting dilemma when we begin building a team of leaders to serve alongside us in youth ministry. What do you look for when picking leaders?

Leaders who are friends or leaders who make friends?
The easiest way to find leaders fast is to ask friends for help. This is also one of the easiest ways to get into more strange issues in ministry. Your friends are like you: they look like you, talk like you, have the same interests as you, and connect with others like yourself. If you want to have a youth ministry of “you,” choose leaders who are your friends. If you’d like to build a team that reaches others, look for leaders who make friends, even if they might not choose you as a close friend.

Leaders who are hip or leaders who make others feel hip?
This is another problem that’s common in youth ministry. Leadership is no place for a style contest—it seems tempting to have the fixed-gear riding, really tight pants wearing, techno-listening, youth ministry, but I promise there is more. Leaders are often chosen based on their personal appeal versus how they interact with others. Yes it’s important to have leaders who attract students, but at the same time, those leaders must be looking to build up the ego of the students. Having a bunch of super-hip leaders will only take you so far. Having leaders who know how to make students feel hip is crucial.

Leaders who know the bible or leaders who help teach and engage others in the bible?
Yes there is a difference. Sometimes the smartest leader from the local seminary or Bible College isn’t going to be the most effective leader. It’s key to look for leaders who not only know and understand the bible but have effective skills in communicating God’s word to others.

In building your leadership dream team it’s vital to not let your pride get in the way. When picking leaders think of the overall ministry and not yourself. Yes, it’s important to have a working relationship with leaders, but anything more and you might be missing the point.

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