“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.
Want to destroy a leadership team in a hurry? Here’s how: Don’t get to know your students. It’s that easy. Don’t learn anything more than their names, who needs to know more than that anyway?
Okay, you do. You need to know a lot more than just their names. Your leadership development team is going to hinge on intentional relationship building. If you want your team to be cohesive, meaningful, and fruitful, you must get involved in the lives of your students.
What drives them? What scares them? What are they truly passionate about? What can’t they stand? These are all things that you want to know; and that they want to share. This isn’t a shallow relationship, this is the real thing. Know them.
I know that this is risky. It involves emotional involvement. Emotional involvement means possible (probable) hurt. It comes with the territory. Get used to it. Remember, these relationships are there to build leadership principles on, not for your emotional health.
If you want to connect, if you want to have real impact on the lives of your leadership team, cultivate real relationships with your students. Be real with them and insist they be real with you. You’ll find that as you do, your group will begin to operate as a real team. And that’s when the real learning starts.