I remember my first year attending the Orange Conference, hearing amazing ideas one after another, having countless conversations with other youth workers on what we hoped to take home and implement, and just the observational excitement throughout every attendee I came in contact with.
But I remember the sense of discouragement I felt at the same time; for I knew that Reggie Joiner himself could accompany me back to my church to share the ideas I had just learned, yet still not be able to implement them (or even try them). I was already looking at leaving, but that event sealed the deal that I had to; the reason wasn’t because our church couldn’t pull off the excitement I hoped, but rather because of one thing:
I COULDN’T LEAD UP.
I had no voice as a leader in our church, despite the title of Associate Pastor/Youth Pastor. Though I always knew that leadership wasn’t just about the title and that it had to be earned, I discovered that earning it was outside the realm of possibility at this church.
Leading up isn’t about the ability to walk into a staff meeting and make declarations about what should happen with the church, and it’s not the ability to smooth-talk people into doing what you want them to do.
One of the most frequent complaints about churches rests in the tension between a Youth Pastor who feels unheard and the Senior Pastor who won’t budge.
So, over the next few weeks, we’ve asked our team of contributors, as well as some friends from around the Youth Ministry world, to write posts we can feature dealing with the issue of Leading Up. Here’s a few of the posts we have coming up:
- The Shortsighted Leader
- Learning to follow even when you disagree
- Counting the Change in your pocket
- Knowing the hand you’ve been dealt as a leader
- The Benefits of Youth Ministry appearing as the JV of REAL Ministry
- and more!
Do you have any specific questions you’d like for us to tackle in this series? We’ll be closing it up with the first Youth Ministry Roundtable of the School year on August 27th, and we’d love your questions for that discussion as well.
We’ve got a ton of great content coming up, and you won’t want to miss any of it! Be sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed and our email newsletter to get all of the latest posts and resources.
Almost two years ago, Ben felt a calling to start a new website for Youth Pastors, and after talking with his Brother about it for a few months, they launched YouthMin.org. Ben Runs and Manages YouthMin.org like it's a full time job, and loves connecting with Youth Pastors via the Facebook Community, but he is still a Full-Time Youth Pastor at Trinity Evangelical Church in North Reading, MA. He and his wife, Sarah, met while attending Liberty University, and have one Son together, commonly known as BEAR.