*Editor’s Note: Jason Frizzell joins the Barefoot blog today to discuss leadership culture. You can engage him here in the comments, or find more from him on his website.
Over the last fifteen years I’ve had thousands of conversations with people about serving in youth ministry in some form or other, with only hundreds ending up buying into what I was selling. Does this make me a failure?
I don’t believe so. I wonder if the challenge we have in recruiting and retaining leaders is more of a question about the culture of leadership we’ve created than it is about our ability to lead, cast vision, or position people to succeed.
I’m experimenting with three ideas on how to grow a leadership culture in my community.
1. Believe in God’s sovereignty. If I truly believe that God designed all of life to function together for a reason and a purpose, I need to trust that God stitches teams, communities, and contexts together for a purpose as well. The Bible teaches that every part of the body of Christ has a unique function and role to play for the overall well being of the entire organism. We need to believe this truth as leaders. God will provide what we need. Perhaps a shortage of leaders is an invitation to rethink the way we’ve been ministering to people rather than a sign that the community is apathetic toward youth ministry.
2. Reject your personal need for affirmation. Leadership is not about a leader. Leadership is about serving the community to usher people into the presence of their Creator. It’s nice to be told that you bring value to a community or a ministry, but this can’t be our primary emphasis in recruiting people to serve with us. Our need for affirmation cannot be humanly directed. What would it look like for us to rest in knowing that God delights in who God has created us to be?
3. Pray like you’ve never prayed before. Jesus challenged his team of disciples to pray for workers for the plentiful harvest fields. We need to do the same. When was the last time we were driven by desperation to cry out to the Father, asking for what only he can give? Do you have space in your calendar to saturate your community in prayer and ask for others to respond to God’s invitation for their lives?
What would you add to the experiment in creating a culture of leadership?