Getting a Leg Up


Getting a Leg Up

A couple of days ago there was a blog over at Download Youth Ministry which is a great resource for anyone who works with youth—check it out!

The blog writer, Justin Knowles, shares 5 crucial leadership actions that will help us, not only in ministry, but in our own lives. In the mix of everything—our responsibilities, our schedules, our desiresit can be very easy to feel like were always falling just a bit short of where we want to be. We can often find ourselves a step behind everything. These leadership tools will help equip you get a leg up in your leadership, for yourself and others.

Here is an excerpt from the blog of the 6 “ups” in leadership:

"Step Up- A goal is given to you, but not clear direction. Sometimes we just need to take it and run with it. Step up into it and make it awesome. Make it effective. Someone dropped the ball on something, step up and own it. It shows your team you can take some heat for them and then you can go back with them and walk them through to help avoid it again. You see a student sitting by themselves but you’re busy. Don't let the excuse of, "Surely someone else will talk to them." Step up and be a pastor and care for your flock.

Back Up- Sometimes we just need to back up and evaluate the situation before we rush in and try to fix it. This is my tendency. I want to just get it done. Back up and see what the big picture is and then try again. Sometimes we want teenagers and parents to figure it out. We have the urge to just tell them what you see. Back up, let them work it out. Come alongside them. You are not the students’ parents, they are. You are not a super hero. We wish. Sometimes we need to realize we cannot do some things by ourselves, we need to back up, swallow our pride and get help.

Speak Up- This tends to be one of the harder ones for me. I am a people pleaser. Sometimes when I have a great idea I let it go because I was not asked. I have been trying to speak up more. Same with when I see something that went wrong or is not a good thing, I have been trying to speak up more. Sometimes it will better the organization. Speak up in someone’s life when you see something, in a loving way of course. Sometimes I rather the person not be mad at me instead of being their pastor and help them with sin in their life and walk them through a difficult situation.

Shut Up- I need to work on this too. Sometimes I say things when I shouldn't. Or some things could have been said, but could have been said later, in private, to that person and not in front of everyone. Something I have been working on even more is just shutting up and listening. I am finding the best counseling sessions I have done have been the ones in which I barely said anything and just listened. Instead of jumping in right away with my thoughts on how they should fix it, just shut up and listen and then ask if they want your input.

Show Up- Sometimes we don't need to say anything at all. Just show up. Just like Jobs friends when he was in pain, they didn't say a word and just sat there with him. Show up to that football game or play. Our presence means more to students than we will ever know. 

Pray Up- We sometimes forget this. We are never doing anything by ourselves when we are in ministry unless we make it that way. Pray it up. Every situation, conversation, action or decision, give it God. The Holy Spirit will guide us in our decisions, actions, words and thoughts if we let Him. This one is the most important."

Justin writes this in the context of being a youth pastor, but where do these principles apply in the context of your leadership? How about the context of your families? In your personal life?

Which “up” do you find you excel in?

Which “up” needs the most work?

Evaluate yourself as you look at these 6 principles. Being mindful of where we excel and where we need to do some work will help us to focus in with intention on growing our leadership and ultimately ourselves!



The Masterpiece


The Masterpiece

There is nothing more beautiful or provoking than a piece of artwork that has been executed with intention and excellence—we call this a masterpiece. When the message, the medium, and the maker all come together in harmony to create a work that others will see and admire it is truly a beautiful thing. As we proceed in our work as a ministry, it is important to constantly remind ourselves of what our message, our tools, and our intention are as a unit.

The Bridge Youth Ministries has a very specific calling from God for his glory. In our last meeting I know that we had some questions about the words “mission” and “vision”. From our ministry perspective I would like to (hopefully) bring some clarity to this issue, as well as help you find out where you fit into this “big picture”.

Our mission is why we exist. To unite the hearts of youth with the heart of God. This mission was given to Carlos in the beginning and it is still ours today. It won’t change over time, and it will never be achieved fully. It is our direction. It is our motivation. It is our guiding star. Our mission is the heart beat to everything that we are doing—to unite the hearts of youth with the heart of God.

Our vision is what we want to be. To be a safe place in our community where young people can discover who they are, who God is, and what they can do in relationship with one another. Our vision supports our mission. It will change over time. It is measureable and achievable. Over time we will be able to look back and measure success in our vision— to be a safe place in our community where young people can discover who they are, who God is, and what they can do in relationship with one another.  

Our purposes are our gauges. We can measure our success with our purposes.

Building new friendships
Reaching those who are lost
Instructing the truth
Discovering our gifting
Growing to be more like Christ
Experiencing true worship

How well are we building new friendships? Do you see more lost souls coming to the knowledge of Christ? Have you seen young people growing in the truth? Are gifts being fostered and grown in our ministry? By looking at where we were and where we now are with our B-R-I-D-G-E purposes, we can measure the success of our vision.

Our strategy is how we will accomplish our vision/mission. This is what we employ as a ministry. Our Friday night gatherings, home small groups, service projects, 1-on-1 relationships, etc are the strategy—it is our game plan.

My challenge to you this week is to think about where you fit in the middle of all of this. In 1 Corinthians 12, we all know the scripture that talks about how each of us have a specific and unique calling that contributes to the body of Christ. A perfectly functioning ministry will have hands doing the work of hands, feet doing the work of feet, and eyes doing the work of eyes. Any great work of art has specific design elements that are executed with intention and purpose. It is my prayer, and God’s heart, that you would be functioning in exactly what you were created for--with intention and purpose.

Through vision, mission, purpose, and strategy we can see the big picture that God is painting called The Bridge Youth Ministries. The question is how will God use you to contribute to this great masterpiece for all to see?