With some teenagers in my ministry I see tons of potential, and I know that they would make amazing leaders. Actually, they’re already amazing leaders. The other students are drawn to them, as well as the parents. They have the charisma, the ability—the makings of a “true leader.”
Unfortunately, there’s potential for them to be a positive leader or negative leader.
I’ve learned that I need to recognize the potential, explain the potential to them, and then allow them to make the decision. But sometimes the decision they make won’t be what you want it to be.
I’ve discovered two times when I should back off.
If I feel as though I’m pushing them.
Sometimes we see the great potential and try and push them into leadership. We might just end up pushing them away.
If the relationship between you and the student is stressed.
When a student has a different direction or vision than the rest of the student ministry, when they are consistently and constantly fighting with you, that is a clear indication that they are not in the right position. Perhaps they can be used in another ministry, or another branch of the student ministry. Student Leadership, however, is not the right one. Not matching the direction.
Lastly, sometimes the problem lies with us. Whether it’s that we woke up on the wrong side of the bed, we feel threatened by this particular Student Leader, or we’re too proud when we make a mistake—as youth leaders we need to take careful, daily inventory of our heart, mind, attitude, and words.
That’s what I’ve learned… and I’m still learning.