I hate planning for trips, events and program because it’s calling me to embrace administrative duties that I’m not good at doing. I’d rather be on a mountain, hanging out at a burger joint or shooting a basketball with a group of teens, than figuring out the cheapest way to feed them on a Sunday night. When you started out in youth ministry you probably had dreams of hanging with students, mentoring and walking with them in faith. While you should be doing that, as you become more seasoned there is a pull to manage and lead from an administrative standpoint. You might feel like fighting that urge and grow guilty when you are stuck behind a desk. However, it’s prudent to embrace the administrative side of youth ministry because it will help you as a leader:
- Extend Your Capacity
- Solve Big Picture Problems
- Fuel A Movement
So, how do you embrace your administrative duties? How can you grow as a leader? Remember to:
Study Outside Systems: To lead a ministry takes more than just being relational. As a leader you need to study successful models. This means learning how to do customer service from Chick-fil-a or how to sell an idea like Apple. Business models, school systems and looking at other ministries will help you discover principles and practices that will help your ministry grow stronger.
Craft Your Communication Skills: Communicating clearly and consistently might come naturally to some; however, for others it takes practice and work. Whether it’s developing email templates or reviewing a talk. As a youth minister if you aren’t communicating to others effectively, than you won’t lead them effectively either.
Prepare, Prepare And Prepare: You need to prepare for meetings to make them worth people’s time. You need to prepare for messages so that you can cast vision. You need to build in margin into your schedule so that you are not always flying by the seat of your pants. A prepared individual is confident and able to roll with the punches youth ministry can literally (Middle Schoolers can get nasty) and figuratively bring.
The administrative side of youth ministry is definitely not as attractive as sitting with a teen in the trenches. The tendency is to fight these responsibilities; however, if neglected they can harm you in the long run. As the youth pastor of your church you are not only called to lead individual students but also the young church. To do this effectively you need to pour into your leaders. You need to organize systems and sometimes that means embracing administrative duties.
What administrative duty do you struggle to embrace the most?
Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)