If you work with teenagers chances are you’ve witnessed many mistakes. Â Maybe it was that game that you thought would be awesome; however, a girl ends up puking. Â Or that trip that was incredible until you arrived home late because you couldn’t find the one teen in the rest stop gift shop. Â In youth ministry mistakes will be made. Â Parents, teens, volunteers and even the pastor will get angry with you.
When something doesn’t go as originally planned the temptation is to find a scapegoat. Â You were late because of someone else. Â The game didn’t go according to plan because the instructions weren’t clear. Â You make excuses and point the finger; however, all it does it hurt your leadership. Â Mistakes will happen because you and I are human. Â As a leader instead of looking for an excuse or someone to blame:
- Take Ownership Of The Situation: Â Owning the situation doesn’t necessarily mean you will take the blame. Â It means that you will take the steps to resolve the situation. Â If someone is at fault you’ll find out who that is or if there was a miscommunication you’ll discover when that happened. Â By owning it you are allowing others to hold you accountable. Â By embracing the situation you show others that you care.
- Criticize And Critique Privately: If a problem does occur because of someone else make sure you talk with them privately. Â Making a fool of them in front of their peers is embarrassing and doesn’t look well for you. Â If the situation is severe be sure to have an accountable party who will affirm the discussion. Â This will also protect you if they aren’t accepting of the feedback.
- Pray With Others:Â Most youth ministers are their harshest critique, which will drain us emotionally and spiritually. Â Having a small group of peers to listen to your concerns is essential. Â Allow them to pray for you and pour into you so that you can continue to move forward. Â In the end you’ll know you aren’t walking through the problem alone.
- Obtain Trustworthy Feedback: Make sure you analyze the situation with the help of others. Â If the mistake was made by another person seek wisdom on how you could have prevented putting the wrong person in the wrong place. Â Have someone you trust to give you the brutal facts to point you in the right direction.
I’m not suggesting that you as the leader take the fall 100% of the time; however, it’s important to own the situation. Â Look to resolve it, share the burden with others and make the necessary preparations to avoid the situation in the future. Â A great leader is one who is humble enough to know mistakes are made and that it’s all a part of being human.
How do you rebound from mistakes being made? Â
Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)