A parent mentions something to you in passing right before you walk on stage to give announcements. Later that afternoon, as you are dozing off on the couch while watching football, you suddenly, vaguely, remember something about a concerned parent. You have no recollection of what the parent wanted, or the level of concern in her voice. You shrug it off and decide that if it was something serious, she’ll be sure to track you down. Great leaders have ability and willingness to follow up when others would shrug it off; to take action steps others would have long forgotten. If you want to be a strong leader, accept nothing less than excellent follow-up to each interaction.
Practical ways to get better at following up: Flag emails that need your action. Always start with that folder first to knock some of those out right away. Get good at leaving yourself quick voice memos on your phone you can track down later. Use a Moleskin (real paper—gasp!) or the Stickies app to help you jot down quick thoughts you need to follow-up on later.
Follow the Leader
You serve Jesus…and the pastor He has called to lead your church. Too often youth workers get frustrated by their position on the church staff totem pole (somewhere below the janitor). God has called you to a church and he has called you to serve those “above you.” Until things change, you are to serve and honor them. Breaking the unity of the church is a rookie mistake—veteran leaders with longevity know how to follow the leader…even if it’s the church janitor.
Practical ways to get better at following the leader: Ask them out for lunch one day this week to help build your relational storehouse. Make sure your interactions go beyond crisis management or only meeting when problems arise. Send a thank you card or note to your leader. Appreciate the real weight of those leading your whole church.
This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.