Being intentional is a key value in ministry. A key phrase that always comes to mind is “Not Perfectly, But Intentionally.” We have to realize as leaders that we are not perfect and are not always doing everything that we should or could to accomplish our mission. There are things we don’t see or understand and sometimes we even choose sin over godliness. Shocking I know. I’m not advocating that it’s okay, but it’s true.
While we may not be perfect, we can be intentional. We can intentionally share the Gospel. We can intentionally build relationships. We can intentionally serve with excellence. We can’t guarantee effectiveness, since it is ultimately a work of the Holy Spirit that causes any one to accept Christ, be sanctified, or changed in any way. We can guarantee a clean heart before God as we intentionally seek to become more like His Son, Jesus Christ.
The 3 ways center around a leaders ability to “BE INTENTIONAL.”
3 Ways to Stop Being an Ineffective Youth Leader
Making disciples is harder than you could ever imagine, but simpler than you would ever think. For those involved in student ministry, discipling young people is not really complicated—it’s just costly. You don’t need a doctorate in theology, but you do need to have died to yourself.
What exactly makes someone an effective youth leader?
Here’s an example. Melisa is a youth leader who has been leading a group of junior girls at Mars Hill Bellevue. Each week she opens up her Bible with these ladies, listens to their struggles and questions, and points them to Jesus. She also opens up her life by pursuing their hearts relationally outside of a program or event. And when she was away on a family vacation for a couple of weeks, two of her girls stepped up and led their peers the same way Melisa has been leading them.
Melisa is just one of many examples of a godly and effective youth leader. By the grace of God she is making disciples who make disciples, by sharing the gospel, sharing her life, and empowering young people to do likewise.
Paul reveals some powerful practices in the way he discipled those in the church at Thessalonica. His pen drips with insight and sincerity as he writes, “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:8).
What follows is the job description of every youth leader at Mars Hill: three simple yet costly characteristics of Paul’s leadership in 1 Thessalonians 2, which we use as a leadership model for anyone serving in student ministry at Mars Hill Church.
1. Be intentional about sharing the gospel
Paul reminded the Thessalonians that the most important gift he shared with them was the gospel: the message about Christ’s finished work on the cross for sinners. An effective youth leader has the gospel on repeat like 90s church kids with a new DC Talk track. When it comes to repeating the best news in the universe, if you feel like a broken record, you’re doing it right.