“First Move Mondays” is a weekly series of articles that will help you establish or strengthen a leadership development program in your youth group. These articles are aimed at youth leaders who are either contemplating a youth leadership team, those who have just started them, or youth leaders that want to strengthen the foundation of their existing program.
You Are More Than A Teacher
We are more than teachers.
Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking of yourself merely as a teacher; we are so much more. As we guide young people toward being biblical leaders, we must keep in mind that as their mentors and teachers, we need to be careful not to neglect the personal lives of those young leaders whose lives we have been entrusted with caring for.
The following quote from a Tony Morgan blog haunts me, and I hope it will haunt you as well:
“At the end of Brian’s message today, he invited people to come forward for prayer and anointing. I was one of a number of pastors and elders who were available to pray with folks.
The experience impacted me. It reminded me that the people that walk through the doors of our church every Sunday may look okay on the outside, but many are dealing with some tough stuff on the inside. Addictions. Marriages collapsing. Kid’s heading in a wrong direction. Medical challenges. Financial crisis. Lack of purpose.”
Our students are human beings, not information repositories. Each of their lives are different. We often (I often) make the mistake of filling them full of leadership knowledge, scripture, leadership practice, and all of those wonderful things without attending to the needs that are sometimes simmering just under the surface of their lives.
The student who is going through a personal crisis (and we all do) is not going to be able to concentrate on how to be a leader. In fact, it’s the furthest thing from their mind. Remember, the student who just had a fight with her mom, or who is having a fight with her boyfriend, is not going to be on her “A” game.
Remember that you are more than a teacher to these students. You are a pastor, a mentor, a guide. You are sometimes the person that they trust the most with spiritual matters. Don’t neglect them by treating them like robots.
Leaders are people too.