Playbook Unlimited // Youth Leader's Coach
This resource will be invaluable for any of us that call ourselves leaders, no matter where we are at in life. Everything rises and falls on leadership. That's why it's so important that we take the time to evaluate ourselves occasionally on how we are doing personally as we lead others.
In this month's Youth Leader's Coach, "10 Point Leadership Self-Assessment Test: How Much Of A Leader Are You Really?" I'm challenging all of us to use these 10 points to gauge how we are doing leadership-wise. Let this be both an encouragement for you in the areas you are doing great and a chance to put the target on the wall for yourself in areas that could use some improvement.
If you're in youth ministry, you know counseling is a significant part of the job description and can be one of the most rewarding things you do. All too often, however, it can feel like a huge black hole...a total waste of time due to the lack of results.
It doesn't have to be that way! While one of my college degrees was in counseling, allow me to share with you 12 things they never taught me in the classroom. The wisdom I've gained through my ministry run will not only help you crawl out of the black hole and get some decent results, it will also save you time...something there never seems to be enough of.
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You're not surprised by the topic of this Youth Leader's Coach are you? Boredom is a fact of life with anything you decide to do with consistency for the long haul.
Even Michael Jordan got bored, but instead of coasting he chose to get creative. He found new ways to do the basic drills to stay sharp when others found it easy to get lazy. He fought through the boredom and became a legend.
If we want to be more than good in youth ministry, but for the Lord's honor want to be great, we too must intentionally and strategically shake up our routines and take care of ourselves. So, grab a cup of coffee and let's wrestle through this thing...together!
Choosing to get creative,
We all know that good volunteers are hard to find, but they're even harder to keep! There's a million legitimate things that can cause great people to quit, but it's our role to help manage those things effectively so our volunteers will stay in the game long-haul. That's why I wanted to share this resource with you.
In this month's Youth Leader's Coach, "16 Reasons Why Good Volunteers Quit," I'm sharing from my more than 40 years of experience 16 of the most common reasons I've found why good leaders quit and how we can tackle them effectively.
This Youth Leader's Coach, "20 Things Guys On Your Youth Leadership Team Want The Lady Leaders To Know," is sure to become one of your favorites! It's the companion to the one I did from the female perspective. Granted, last time I checked, I'm a million miles from being a guy. So rest assured that I interviewed many of the male species to get their "top twenty." The results were eye-opening in some cases.
So listen carefully to what many men in youth ministry would love to communicate to the female leaders on their team. And then feel free to make copies of both this Youth Leader's Coach and its companion, "25 Things Ladies On Your Leadership Team Wish Male Leaders Knew About Them." Hand them out to your leaders and I assure you that the unity and understanding on your team will go up. After all, a popular writer tells us that "Men are from Mars and women are from Venus!" No matter how much we all love teenagers, we're wired up pretty differently.
Your Venus Cheerleader,
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One of the biggest challenges in youth ministry is money! Through the years, I've done countless fundraisers. So, in this Youth Leader's Coach, I'm going to share with you some of my very best ideas.
Listen in on "24 Ways To Raise Money Without Washing Cars" and I guarantee that you will come away with some new strategies that will make your fundraising adventures a whole lot easier, more profitable and, maybe, even fun!
This is one of those times together that you will want to copy and give to all the guys in your leadership team! Better yet, if you are bold, make copies for your female leaders too and then ask them how you're doing (if you're a male leader). I've entitled our time together "25 Things Ladies On Your Leadership Team Wish Male Leaders Knew About Them."
Through the years in youth ministry, I've repeatedly heard girls bemoan some of the same issues with men in the youth leadership trenches. This is especially true of ladies who work on the team of a male youth pastor. So I had some fun and decided to create this Youth Leader's Coach around 25 of those most repeated themes. You'll have fun listening. Even more, I think you'll hear some things that will help sharpen teamwork in your youth ministry with some of the amazing females around you.
Still laughing at "Women's Lib,"
Over the last decades the students in my ministries have gone through lots of culture shifts. From the Baby Boomers...to Generations X, Y, Z, Millennials, iGen, and Gen Alpha. One of the most common questions I get asked is, "How do you connect with and leave a footprint on the next generation?" That's what this Youth Leader's Coach is all about. I share 5 "Non-Negotiables" for reaching the next generation, whatever they happen to be calling them.
These 5 simple principles have remained consistent as I've reached almost 5 decades of students. So listen in. Together we will raise a generation of young people that will say with confidence, "Jesus, we are yours!"
Someone asked me recently, “What are some things that would have helped you along the ministry journey if you would have known them when you started?” It started my heart and mind reaching back over the more than four decades of youth and young adult ministry experience to make some summations of some of what I’ve learned along the journey.
Listen in as I unpack 5 things that I most wish someone would have shared with me early on when I began in youth ministry. Many of these lessons I’ve learned the painful way. It is my prayer that I can encourage you by helping you avoid some of the same pitfalls I made in my journey.
Jesus regularly went to the synagogue. David prayed seven times a day, and Daniel three. Zacchaeus offered sacrifices "as was his custom." What are your daily success rituals? Do you have any? Have you thought about them lately?
Honestly, we really don't decide our future, but decide our habits. Our habits, in turn, are what determine our future. The statement is so true, "The secret of our future can be found in our daily routines."
With that in mind, our daily routines are far too important not to intentionally spend some time focusing in on them. So grab your coffee, have a seat in your favorite chair and listen in as we get strategic in creating our daily success rituals.
As a youth leader, have you ever thought when counseling someone, "If you only knew"? If you only knew that I too wrestle with doubts, insecurities, and mind games. If you only knew that I too struggle with unconquered sin patterns. If you only knew... The reality is that I do know. I know not only because you told me, but also from having faced my own "If you only knew..." challenges.
My heart's desire is that you suffer in silence no longer. Hopefully, this Youth Leader's Coach, "7 Things Youth Pastors Tell Me In Secret," will reach inside that secret place in your heart and provide you with large doses of encouragement, along with valuable wisdom and hope.
I suppose nothing challenges most of us in youth ministry more than trying to make enough time each day to get everything done that seems to demand our attention. Over the years in youth ministry, I've made it a habit to occasionally re-evaluate my own time management in light of my personal dreams and goals.
In this Youth Leader's Coach, I share with you the eight key questions I ask myself periodically to "keep myself on track." Peter Drucker says, "Efficiency is doing things right, but effectiveness is doing right things." So grab a cup of coffee, consider transcribing my eight questions, and then spend some time evaluating your time management in light of these thoughts. I promise the results will be both challenging and rewarding.
Yours for being EFFECTIVE in Youth Ministry,
The wisdom of Proverbs 23:7 tells us, "For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he." And, James Allen echoed it well when he said, "You are today, where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow, where your thoughts take you."
How we "think" is such a key component of success that, in this Youth Leader's Coach, we are going to cash in on ten years of study by Dr. Seymore Epstein, Chairman of the Psychology Department at the University of Massachusetts, on how super achievers think.
As you listen, honestly evaluate yourself on the nine distinct patterns that emerged and zero in on a couple areas where opportunity for improvement exists in your life and ministry.
I can't even begin to count the number of heart-to-heart talks I have had with youth pastors regarding their senior pastors. While the reasons for the tension may vary, oftentimes at the core is a youth pastor's longing to have an affirming, loving, stable dad-type figure in his or her life. However, what is easy to fail to take into consideration is that it can be tough for a senior pastor to give away to others what he may have never experienced for himself.
This issue of Youth Leader's Coach is NOT meant to help you fix your senior pastor, but to give you 12 simple, doable suggestions on how to improve upon your relationship. And, in doing so, you might end up with exactly what you most desire. For your greatest limitation will never be the leader above you, but the spirit within you.
Some pains and hurts from our past don't keep bothering us. We seek God's forgiveness, then forgive and forget. OTHER MEMORIES keep haunting for a long time with stingers of guilt, regret and resentment. But, by God's grace, total and unconditional forgiveness to YOURSELF and others stand available to every child of God.
Dr. James Dobson says that overcoming guilt, even after repentance, is one of the primary weapons the Enemy uses on today's leadership culture. That's why I wanted to share with you this resource. I call this Youth Leader's Coach, "A Leader’s Guide To Overcoming Guilt." Prayerfully, this will be a resource that will be a game-changer for you!
I have way too much to do and I know you relate to this. But, I can't think of anything that is more vital in the life of a leader as saying, "Jesus, I want each day to count to the maximum!"
What I'm talking about in this Youth Leader's Coach, "A Leader's Most Important Time Management Strategy," is by far the most important principle that I adhere to, as I am called to multi-task in many different directions. So listen in, as we take a look at how the Apostle Paul maximized his time, and I share with you some of the strategies I use for making the most of my time as I find myself in one of the busiest seasons of life I've had to face yet!
This Youth Leader's Coach, "A Youth Leader's Guide To Clean Fights," focuses on how to handle the normal conflict situations that inevitably arise in youth ministry. I suggest six principles to help you get angry without becoming destructive. These principles will be effective with your students, your senior pastor, your leadership team, your deacon board and even your family. As a matter of fact, these principles work when I deal with anger directed towards my most common challenge-myself.
So it really is possible, even in youth ministry, to "fight clean." It's not only possible, it's essential for solid youth ministry and lasting relationships. Happy Listening.
Living out Ephesians 4:26,
As a youth pastor, you connect well with students, but sometimes it's a little intimidating and a genuine struggle to relate and connect to their parents. But, it's important to remember that parents need you too! Parents are just kids who grew up and had kids. It's so important that we as leaders communicate the "I like you" vibe, choosing to partner with the parents.
In this Youth Leader's Coach, "A Youth Leader's Guide To Understanding Parents," I share 14 different ways to help you make your student's parents your allies in youth ministry. We must remember, we never take the place of parents no matter what. The more deeply we understand that, the more we work towards building bridges and not blowing them up.
From my vantage point of over four exciting decades in full-time youth ministry...how has it CHANGED and where is it GOING? The Faith Formation 2020 Study gives us a statistical, analytical look at the FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN CHURCH. Their findings reveal that we are not facing a growth-oriented future if we keep doing things "business as usual."
In this month's Youth Leader's Coach, "Acts 29: The Next Chapter In Spirit-Empowered Youth Ministry," I talk about five needs that are repeatedly expressed in the data when church leaders themselves are asked for their most PRESSING NEEDS as we look ahead. I also share my thoughts on what we need to do to write the next part of the youth ministry story.
We get to be a part of a tipping point in the church world, and I'm excited to be a part of it with you!
Philippians 2:12 reminds us to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Often good people (in and out of the ministry) will confess to me their frustration with their own lack of spiritual growth and intimacy. While the principles of maintaining a relationship with Christ are the same for all of us (prayer and Scripture reading), I often suggest to those frustrated Christians that they might need to find their own "spiritual pathway."
This simple principle has been revolutionary in my own relationship with Jesus! Just as we are all wired differently, our spiritual walks, because of our personalities and temperaments, are going to be different. So, take this next hour with me and I pray that you'll discover how to better "work out your own salvation."
Loving and with a "Big Heart,"