In Youth Ministry Sherpas

Today we continue our series “Creating a Culture of…” The most important part of being a successful youth pastor isn’t teaching, meeting with kids, or planning events. It isn’t how charismatic we are, or how big our budget is. The most important thing is building a culture, what we call the “environmental architecture of a healthy ministry. Over time, our culture becomes a living entity, a self-perpetuating lifeform, allowing our ministries to grow and flourish year after year. It’s bigger than us and bigger than our current crop of students or leaders.

For this series, we’ve identified four key elements of any youth ministry culture – fun, outreach, leadership, and family.

Today, Mathew and Steve discuss how to create a culture of leadership.

Creating a culture of student leadership has been on the radar since our first days in youth ministry. There have been plenty of missteps and restarts, but it seems like we’ve landed in a good spot and are seeing the fruit of our efforts. Our Student Leadership teams have become our primary way of creating and multiplying disciples of Jesus.

There are plenty of ways to go about it, but for for student leadership to work, student leaders always need training, significant responsibility, freedom to fail, and time to debrief what they are learning. And it’s not for the control freak. Whether we are developing a student worship band or unleashing your high schoolers on your middle-schoolers, we have to be ready for things to get messy. But when all is said and done, student leaders will become better disciples of Jesus. They might even return as your volunteers or staff!

The Youth Ministry Sherpas recommend Tim Elmore’s series “Habitudes” for Student Leader training:

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