Qualifications of a Leader
THE QUALIFICATIONS OF A LEADER AND
THE LEADERSHIP TEAM:
by Ryan C. Nielsen
WHAT IS THE LEADERSHIP TEAM?
The Leadership Team is a group of adults who have a passion for one Lord, Jesus Christ, and His Compassion for all people.
1. A POSITIVE ROLE MODEL
The adult member of the Leadership Team need not be a great speaker or organizer. Instead, he/she should be a person who by the power of his/her own Christian example motivates others to a relationship of dedications to Jesus Christ. He/She should be a model of Christian living that awakens a responsive desire in others to follow. (A leader moves people by example, not by position.) The leader should be someone who has a faith that is living and growing.
2. A PERSON OF INTEGRITY
Having a good reputation around the church community as well as outside the church setting is a must--the reputation of being an honest and caring person who is above reproach.
3. ABILITY TO IDENTIFY WITH THE PROBLEMS, NEEDS AND FEELINGS OF YOUTH
Without this understanding, communication becomes almost impossible. We have to be able to accept youth where they are and for who they are.
4. LIKES MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS
Probably one of the most predominant thoughts in the minds of youth is simply, "Do you like me? Am I OK?" We must ask ourselves if we really love those whom God has called us to shepherd.
Kids don't always respond the way we think that they should. Our authority at times is not respected as much by youth as we feel it should be. To work with youth, one must have patience. We must accept kids where they are and help to bring them to where they ought to be (discipled student).
6. GOOD LISTENER
Teenagers want to be taken seriously. They want to be heard. Listening is "the language of love."
7. POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR
We have a specific philosophy of youth ministry at Grace Conservative Baptist Church. The leaders must read it and be in full agreement with what it says. There are two ways to view a half-empty cookie jar: "half-empty" or "half-full." We would prefer to have adults on the youth ministry team who look beyond the faults and inconsistencies of adolescents (half-empty) to see the big picture of who they are and what they can become (half-full). Youth need adults who will laugh with them at their mistakes and who will let them know they are loved even when they mess up.
8. WILLINGNESS TO GIVE NECESSARY TIME
To be frank, we don't want adult leaders who are too busy or too involved with other ministries to devote the amount of time that is needed to impact youth. Remember: 90% of effective discipleship is relationship. The actual amount of time required will vary a great deal from person to person.
Wayne Rice, in his book, Junior High Ministry, states:
"Time plays such an important role because it is tied up with the fact that junior highers view things pretty much in black and white categories. That is, you are either a friend to them or you are not. When you say one thing and fail (or are unable) to back it up with your actions, you run the risk of being categorized as a hypocrite. That, of course, is not always accurate, but proving otherwise can sometimes be difficult. Junior Highers characteristically fail to understand adult obligations, and they often take this to mean that some task is more important than they are."
The bottom line is that ministry to youth must be more than good intentions. It requires time.